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Aggborough set for a game every four days
11:32am Thursday 13th February 2014 in Sport
CONSIDERING England is enduring some of the worst winter weather to hit these shores in a century, Worcester City’s fixture list has got off quite lightly.
To date, only four matches have fallen victim to the elements, the latest being Tuesday’s Worcestershire FA Senior Cup semi-final at Redditch United.
The other three have been in Skrill North but a quick glance at the table suggests there are teams with plenty more catching up to do - only five teams have played more games than the Blue and Whites.
But while City’s fixture list looks relatively uncongested, completing it might not be as straightforward as it appears.
Factor in landlords Kidderminster Harriers and suddenly things don’t look quite as good.
Between the two clubs, they have to play 17 home games - eight for City and nine for Harriers – in the 70 days from this Saturday and Saturday, April 26, when the season is due to finish.
Effectively a game every four days, this will put a heavy burden on an Aggborough pitch which is already struggling to cope with the demands placed on it.
Neither side has played on it this month, with the postponement of City’s match against Stockport County on February 1 quickly followed by Harriers’ two attempts to host Cambridge United both being called off last week.
With Worcestershire having taken another pounding from the elements this week, and the threat of more to come, there has to be considerable doubt over City’s scheduled match against Barrow at Aggborough on Saturday.
The pitch already resembles a quagmire and will have had no time to recover under the barrage of recent storms.
Carl Heeley’s side are also due to entertain Telford United in a rearranged match next Tuesday, before Kidderminster use it twice in four days later in the month.
If any of these games are postponed, they will have to be crammed into the diary on Tuesday nights later in the season, which won’t do anything for the state of the pitch.
Neither will it help either side in their respective quests this term – City to stay up and Harriers to go up.
While there has been some criticism of the Aggborough surface from some quarters, there is little groundsman Tom Allcut can do about the current situation. Most pitches would struggle under such deluges.
Equally, Harriers knew that taking City in as tenants, for which they are paid a decent sum, would put strain on their pitch - it was the same at St George's Lane when Evesham shared there.
This weather might be extreme but English winters inevitably cause wear and tear at some point. Kidderminster can't say they weren't warned.
They might have just invested £12,000 in a lawnmower but that’s not much use to them at the moment.
While there is still some way to go before we get to the three-games-in-a-week stage, the window for fitting both club’s home games in is shrinking.