TOM Killick branded as “terrible” the controversial late decision to postpone Poole Town’s home league match with Stourbridge yesterday.
Dolphins had called in a local referee to inspect the surface twice, before and during the West Midland outfit’s long trip down to Dorset, while an army of volunteers worked on the boggy right corner at the far end of the ground.
The surface was tentatively given the green light but any prospect of play was ruled out by Weston-super-Mare-based match official Savvas Yianni upon arrival, a decision which left Killick incandescent with rage.
And the Poole manager, whose side face a daunting schedule of 21 league and cup matches in the final eight weeks of the season, feels it is time for some flexibility when it comes to judging heavy pitches following a harsh winter for non-league clubs.
A fuming Killick told the Daily Echo: “In my view, there was no way the referee should have postponed the game. I felt he was inexperienced, naïve and it was the wrong decision.
“This season, football clubs are finding themselves in exceptional positions in terms of matches that have to be played so referees need a bit of latitude to get games on in conditions that, perhaps, aren’t the most ideal.
“I’m not suggesting matches should be played when it is clear the pitch is not fit but when it is touch and go I think referees have to be sensible as long as both teams are happy to play.
“Unfortunately, the referee was not prepared to act in that manner and I felt it was a terrible decision.
"There was no reason why we couldn’t play a game of football on it and we probably played in worse conditions against Corby the weekend before.
“Let’s not make any bones about it, that area of the pitch was very heavy but there was no surface water on it as such, it was just really muddy. It was about 15 per cent of the pitch and the rest was in perfect condition.
“We do seem to have reached a point where you’re not allowed to play football in the mud.
"Referees tell me it’s dangerous but then I am sure there is a much greater risk playing on rock hard pitches in July and August.”
When contacted by the Daily Echo, referee Savvas Yianni politely declined to comment.