Sevenoaks Town 0-1 Haywards Heath Town - Underground network fault forces abandonment at Greatness Park

Tuesday 07th January 2020
Sevenoaks Town 0 – 1 Haywards Heath Town
Location Greatness Park, Mill Lane, Seal Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 5BX
Kickoff 07/01/2020 19:30

(Match abandoned after 10 minutes due to localised power cut)
Isthmian League South East Division
Tuesday 7 January 2020
Stephen McCartney reports from Greatness Park

SEVENOAKS TOWN chairman Paul Lansdale apologised for the inconvenience of tonight’s game against Haywards Heath Town being abandoned after 10 minutes due to a localised power cut.

Shaun Saunders’ side took a seventh-minute lead through an own-goal from Sevenoaks Town centre-half Jack Miles before the game was abandoned after just nine minutes and 39 seconds play after a power cut plunged Greatness Park into darkness.

This Isthmian League South East Division game will be best remembered for Haywards Heath Town’s yellow and pink away kit, showery rain on a blustery night, Miles’ own goal and Nico Cotton’s right-wing corner before the floodlights flickered and plunged into darkness and both sets of players using mobile phones for emergency lighting.

Haywards Heath Town took the lead with six minutes and 10 seconds on the clock.

Left-winger Kieran Rowe launched a ball towards the edge of the Sevenoaks Town area, aiming for 15-goal striker Trevor McCreadie, only for the recalled Miles to meet the ball on the half-volley from 20-yards, which sailed over his own goalkeeper Patrick Lee, bounced before dropping into the top right-hand corner.

Sevenoaks Town manager Micky Collins said: “Tom Ripley was skipper on Saturday and had a great game (in our 1-1 draw at Whitstable Town) and he’s gone down with this flu virus so Jack wouldn’t have been involved tonight so he’s stepped up and come in. 

“It’s just one of those things. It’s come across him and he’s tried to clear his lines and it’s gone in, so that’s football. I’m sure when those lights flickered there was a sigh of relief.”

A statement from the electricity provider said: “At this point we think the issue is a fault on our underground network affecting the Sevenoaks TN14 area.

“Until an engineer arrives on-site, it’s difficult to give a time of restoration.  Using an average timescale for this type of power cut in your area, we’re looking to have the power back on between 21:30 and 22:30. However, as the repair progresses, this may change.”

Chairman Lansdale added: “A power cut in the TN14 area means the match has been abandoned after 10 minutes.  Sorry for tonight’s inconvenience.  Our next match is on Saturday when we welcome Phoenix Sports.”

Phoenix Sports’ manager Paul Bryon was at the match and decided to make a quick detour to Crayford to watch Chichester City’s 3-0 win over VCD Athletic at Oakwood.

Tonight’s game was officially abandoned at 19:50 and the club asked supporters’ to collect their refunds inside the clubhouse.

Sevenoaks Town manager Micky Collins added: “Well, it’s a shame really, a shame. The game started at quite a frenetic pace. The conditions were perfect really.

“We gave away a sloppy goal, an own goal and then that was it. The lights went out so what can you do?  It’s done. A power cut in the area, there’s nothing we can do about it.

“It’s the first time it’s happened to us since I’ve been here (six years).  It’s a shame, a real shame but it is what it is, no football and we have to go again, these things happen.

“The fire engines are behind the ground somewhere in a different area so there’s obviously an issue locally.

“The referee got it right.  We can stand here and wait and wait and wait but we have a cut-off at 9:30pm, that’s why it’s a 7.30pm kick-off for the lights anyway.  We were willing to wait and try and drag it but sometimes you’ve got to be sensible and go look ‘it’s not going to happen’ and you can see it’s not going to happen.

“If it had been an internal fault then we would look at it and maybe we could rectify it and got them back on but it’s impossible.

“I feel for Haywards Heath and I feel for us as well.  We’ve all committed time, we’ve all got home from work early and committed our day to go and prepared for it, like both sides do and be as professional as we can.

“It’s a shame that they’ve had to travel and it could’ve have been visa-versa. They know it’s not our fault and it’s nothing that we can do about it. It’s just one of those things that happens.

“There’s more important things in the world going on than worrying about a set off lights going out at a football club.”

There was two games in the division tonight, with bottom-of-the-table East Grinstead Town closing the gap on Ramsgate to just five points after a 1-1 home draw against Whitehawk, who are in third-place.

Hastings United are top of the pile with 41 points from 18 games, while the four play-off places are occupied by Ashford United (37 points from 19 games); Whitehawk (34 points from 17 games); Cray Valley (32 points from 18 games) and Whyteleafe (30 points from 18 games).

Sevenoaks Town remain in eighth-place with 27 points from 18 games, while Haywards Heath Town have slipped down a place into fourteenth with 22 points from their 15 league outings.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s clash against seventh-placed (28 points from 18 games) Phoenix Sports, Collins said: “It will be a tough game. Every game will be tough.  You look at that league now and there’s probably 10-12 teams in that league that can all make play-offs, without a doubt.

“There’s probably five out of that that can probably go and win the league. I don’t think so, I’ve got two favourites who I think will probably go and do it but there’s a lot of teams that can go and make play-offs this year and a lot of teams will be vying for it so every game that we’re playing is tough.  Tonight, tough and so it should be.  That’s the level we’re at so you can’t argue with it.”

Sevenoaks Town: Patrick Lee, Fraser Walker, Joseph Taylor, Dan Parkinson, Jack Miles, Ben Gorham, Louis Collins, Tommy Whitnell, Frankie Sawyer, Liam King, Kyle De Silva.
Subs: Alec Fiddes, Ryan Hayes, Jake Beecroft, Tyrell Richardson-Brown, Adrian Stone

Haywards Heath Town: Luke Glover, Hamish Morrison, Tom Summerfield, Ryan Warwick, Lloyd Cotton, Joshua Spinks, Callum Saunders, Byron Napper, Trevor McCreadie, Nico Cotton, Kieran Rowe.
Subs: Tahjae Anderson, Ricardo Rodrigues-Teixeira, Luke Robinson, Tom Graves, Farrall Ryder

Goal: Jack Miles 7 (own goal)

Referee: Mr Jack Fagg
Assistants: Mr Harry Wager & Mr David Lunani