Spennymoor Shambles: Bromley statement : We don’t expect the Spennymoor pitch to be playable next week and wish to avoid further financial and logistical nightmares along with a fixture backlog
BROMLEY have lost their fight to stage next week’s FA Trophy Quarter-Final Replay against Spennymoor Town, leaving their fans out of pocket again.
The Ravens were held to a goal-less draw when the two sides met at Hayes Lane on 24 February and the replay at The Brewery Field was postponed on the following Tuesday morning due to the wintry blast.
However, around 30 fans made the 564-mile round trip up to County Durham yesterday after both clubs announced that the game was going ahead after passing a pitch inspection at eight o’clock in the morning.
The Bromley team left on a train from London Euston at 10:30 to Penrith before boarding a coach to a hotel in Shildon, County Durham, before making their way to The Brewery Field on Durham Road before making the frustrating journey home this morning.
With the home club not having a clubhouse at their ground, a public house around a five minute walk along Durham Road is used as the clubhouse and it was in that establishment when the news of last night’s postponement came to light as match referee Karl Evans deemed the pitch, rightly, unplayable.
Bromley manager Neil Smith last night insisted the game should be played on Bromley’s artificial pitch at Hayes Lane next Tuesday to get the game played due to unplayable state of the Spennymoor pitch and with wet weather forecasted to fall in the town this coming Saturday.
Both club’s already face a fixture backlog, even more so if they progress through to the Semi-Finals as they lose two Saturday fixtures.
The winners of this tie will face Gateshead in a two-legged Semi-Final, the first leg taking place on Saturday 17 March, with the away leg taking place in the North East seven days later. These dates may be amended if the Replay is further delayed.
Bromley fans now face being out-of-pocket if they choose to support their club in their biggest game in recent history as this is the furthest the club have got in The FA Trophy and are agonisingly close to reaching the Wembley Final on 20 May.
Spennymoor Town have NOT offered any sort of apology towards Bromley and their supporters but Smith, via this website, club secretary Jeff Hutton (on Twitter) and the club (on Twitter and the club website) apologised to their fans that made a wasteful journey, with many taking two days off work and booking hotel accommodation.
Bromley showed a touch of class last night as their players bought drinks for their fans in the pub after having a snack at the ground, while Spennymoor players ran round neighbouring streets.
Bromley published the following statement on their website www.bromleyfc.tv tonight: “The club would again like to apologise to all the supporters whose time and money was wasted yesterday as a result of the late postponement.
“We have been liaising with the competitions department at The FA both last night and today to raise our anger and frustration along with a number of questions regarding yesterday’s events.
“Disappointingly we were informed this afternoon that the game must take place at Spennymoor Town next Tuesday 13th March, KO 7:45pm. Furthermore, should the game be postponed both clubs have been asked to make provisions for the match to be played on Wednesday 14 March, 7.45pm at Spennymoor Town FC.
“The club strongly oppose the above on the basis we don’t expect the pitch to be playable next week and wish to avoid further financial and logistical nightmares along with a fixture backlog.
“We understand The FA have requested further information from Spennymoor and that this information along with Bromley FC’s position on this whole matter will be discussed further by The FA on Friday when we hope to be able to communicate further.
“Unfortunately despite all this the above FA directive stands and the game is scheduled for next Tuesday 13th March, KO 7:45pm at Spennymoor Town. The FA will be overseeing the need for any inspections in an attempt to avoid any unnecessary travel.
“Our originally scheduled home league match on Tuesday against Barrow will now be rearranged and a new date will be announced shortly.”
Stephen McCartney, 41, the editor www.kentishfootball.co.uk, calculated that it has so far cost £280 in travel, hotels and food and drink expenses in an attempt to attend the two postponed fixtures at Spennymoor. This figure does not include travel and hotel and food expenses for next Tuesday’s game and god forbid to stay there for another night for a game on Wednesday.
If Bromley progress through to the Semi-Finals, a trip to Gateshead at the end of the month will further hit fans in their pockets.
One fan complained last night that it had cost him £400 to make the trip up to Spennymoor last night and a father of a player lost £500 in wages by taking time of work to watch his son play in the game.
Last night’s farce had passed two earlier pitch inspections. An unnamed referee passed the pitch playable – when it clearly wasn’t!
Travelling nearly 600 miles for a postponement confirmed within 75 minutes of kick-off is unacceptable - and so is the home club not offering travelling fans an apology.
Visit Bromley’s website: www.bromleyfc.tv