Ryman North: Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane felt sorry for Bury Town after postponement

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane looks on (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane looks on (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Bridge Avenue pitch, like many local surfaces, was frozen by time Suffolk outfit had made majority of the journey down

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane felt sorry for Ryman North rivals Bury Town after Tuesday’s fixture was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Urchins were set to host the Suffolk outfit at Bridge Avenue, but the temperature dropped and forced the referee to call the game off.

With Hornchurch currently on a nine-match unbeaten run in the division, they were desperate to get the clash on against the seventh-placed visitors.

“I felt sorry for Bury because they were on the M25 and nearly here, but the referee had to call it off,” said McFarlane.

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“You find it is always the way when you are doing well you want to play every game and when you are not, you don’t mind the rest.

“I’m sure that match would have been on if we had been struggling so it is what it is and we just had to deal with it.”

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McFarlane got to Bridge Avenue at 4.30pm and admitted the surface initially looked in great shape.

When the referee first had a look an hour and a half later, the Hornchurch boss feared the worse.

“I got to the ground about half past four and the pitch was perfect, but as the minutes ticked by and it was literally on a minute-by-minute basis you could see it freezing,” said McFarlane.

“The referee got on it at six o’clock and he was already a bit negative about it and rightly so.

“He said ‘I don’t want to start the game and call it off at half time, I don’t think it is right’ and I agreed.

“At half past six the referee brought his linesmen down and during that short 30-minute period it started to crunch up.”

With the Bridge Avenue running track very slippery, it meant the Hornchurch squad were given a rare night off.

Having played seven competitive games this month in all competitions and a friendly at Clapton too, McFarlane was more than happy to give Urchins’ players an evening to themselves.

“Very seldom do we have a night off, but there was nothing we could do because the track was too slippery and it would have been dangerous to do any running on the pitch,” he said.

“The players had a well deserved night off because they have been training hard and playing twice a week for so many months. One night off wasn’t going to hurt them.”

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