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Stourbridge wasn’t our only time in the dark
THE abandoned Worcestershire FA Senior Cup semi-final at Stourbridge on Tuesday night was the second time Worcester City have fallen foul of floodlight failure in recent weeks.
Not many people know that it happened to us at a training session during the recent cold snap as well.
We were looking for a pitch to use and assistant manager Matt Gardiner managed to get us a last-minute slot at the Abbey Stadium in Redditch.
We tried to get an 11-a-side game going but, just as we were about to warm up, all the lights went out and, after an hour of trying to mend them, we had to postpone the session.
These instances are unusual but it happened again at Stourbridge.
The players and I got to the War Memorial Ground about 6pm and when we went on to the pitch for the warm-up only the lights on the stand side were on.
When they turned on the ones on the other side of the ground, the stand side lights went off. I thought that was ominous and it didn’t give me much confidence.
Even with both sides on, there were a few bulbs out and the light wasn’t great, so when they went off during the match it wasn’t wholly surprising.
We went into the changing rooms and I spoke to the referee who said the electrician could possibly get the lights on but he couldn’t guarantee they wouldn’t go off again. We were happy to wait but, with that prognosis, it would have been a waste of time.
The game will be played again at some point, so hopefully it will be third time lucky since the original fixture was postponed last month.
It’s frustrating because it would also have been an opportunity for some players, such as Ryan Clarke and Danny Carey-Bertram, to get some minutes under their belts but you just have to get on with it.
Floodlight failure also caused our league match at Nuneaton to be abandoned with 10 minutes left in January 2008.
We were losing 2-0 but, having gone off and come back on while they tried to fix the problem, you start thinking about player safety and people pulling muscles because they have cooled down and warmed up again.
Nuneaton were a lot more frustrated because they were in a winning position but in these unfortunate situations it is neither club’s fault and it’s out of your control.
However, I think the most bizarre incident I have ever been involved with was against King’s Lynn earlier in my Worcester career.
We left St George’s Lane in perfect weather conditions but by the time we had arrived in East Anglia at about 1.15pm there was three or four inches of snow.
We hadn’t given it a thought that the game would be off but we got there and there was more chance of going alpine skiing than playing football.
On another occasion, I can remember going to the old Chelmsford City ground and monsoon-like rain around half-time forced the game to be postponed. The changing rooms were even flooded out.