Following on from this mornings statement by both clubs following Saturday’s postponed fixture in the FA Trophy, for clarification Director of Football Paul Maitland has the following to say on the situation.
“Having been informed of Needham Market’s decision to withdraw from the Buildbase FA Trophy late last night, a decision that we know wouldn’t have been easy for them to make. Whilst we have every sympathy for Needham Market’s predicament, we went in to the competition and we are all aware of the rules and requirements of the competition. We would like to state publicly that we made plans for a journey to Needham, as well as a journey to Merthyr, or even the home rearranged game with Needham if they decided to carry on in the competition. Whilst looking at some comments on social media asking why the game couldn’t be rearranged for Saturday, this simply cannot happen as you are then postponing our league game against Harrow Borough, this would mean that they would have to come to us in a rearranged midweek league game which then has a knock on effect for Harrow and other teams in a similar situation. Added to that, in accordance with the FA rules for the competition, they stated that the game had to have been played this week and instructed the club’s that this game would be on Tuesday evening. As you would have seen, our scheduled league away game in Wales at Merthyr has now been called off, despite our willingness to travel and through no fault of Merthyr Town who have also been impacted by these events.”
“The events of Saturday were unfortunate, however nobody can control the weather. The officials gave every chance for the game to go ahead, due to the fact that Needham did have to travel so far, as well as the officials and supporters.”
“Clearly this is not the way that we wanted to go through in the competition but now we turn our attention back to our league campaign and we wait to see the outcome of the FA Trophy draw later today.”
“We wish Needham Market the best of luck for the remainder of the season and we wish them well for the future.”