Cherries: Give us an early shout after County shambles
THERE is a well-known saying once bitten, twice shy. Cherries supporters, particularly those who choose to travel to away games, will doubtless be mindful of it during these Arctic conditions. Bristol Rovers should be commended for trying to do everything in their power to ensure tomorrow's League One clash with Cherries beats the weather. An article published yesterday on their official website said there was a reasonable chance the match would go ahead. Apparently, club ground staff have been working on the pitch and the playing surface has been covered. However, Cherries followers would be right to think that this all sounded rather too familiar. A week ago today, a similar story appeared on the Notts County official website regarding Cherries' FA Cup showdown with the Magpies. No pitch inspection planned, bellowed the headline. And Meadow Lane stadium manager Greg Smith had every confidence the tie would go ahead. In fact, County were still claiming the clash would not be in doubt as late as Saturday lunchtime. Unfortunately for all concerned, especially those whom had headed north from Dorset, referee Neil Swarbrick thought otherwise. Quite what happened between his 11am pitch inspection and a second viewing closer to kick-off is anybody's guess. While the general consensus of opinion was that the decision had been correct, the timing little more than an hour before kick-off was nothing short of disgraceful. Yes, the health and safety of the players should always be paramount. After all, they are the ones putting their careers at risk. But what about the dedicated army of travelling supporters Nobody seems too bothered about them. A decision on whether or not the pitch at the Memorial Ground will be playable come 3pm tomorrow must be made early. And if there is the slightest doubt, the match must be called off in good time and before supporters leave. A repetition of the Notts County fiasco would be criminal.
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