FOOTBALL: Call-off causes controversy as Devizes look to town for help

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Darran Walters and Justin Webster's Devizes Town suffered a last-gasp postponement last weekend Darran Walters and Justin Webster's Devizes Town suffered a last-gasp postponement last weekend

DEVIZES Town were left frustrated last weekend as their Toolstation League First Division clash with Welton Rovers was called off just minutes before kick-off.

The Nursteed Road pitch passed an early morning pitch inspection on Saturday but following a downpour of rain at 2.30pm, referee Cameron Thomas opted to postpone proceedings with around ten minutes to go.

Hosts Devizes were miffed at losing out on valuable matchday revenue while Welton, who had travelled 54 miles from Midsomer Norton, were similarly disgruntled by the last-gasp postponement.

“We had 150 people waiting to watch a game of football but they ended up having to go home,” said Devizes vice-chairman Neil Fautley.

“The referee asked for extra sand to be put on the goalmouths at 2.30pm and we emptied bags full but he still decided that it wasn’t playable after the downpour. I know that player safety plays a part but by the same token, we’re now out of pocket.

“We had to refund the gate and we lost out on the takings from the bar too. It was really frustrating.”

A statement on Rovers’ official website said: “This was a hugely unsatisfactory outcome to the afternoon, particularly given the willingness of both teams to play the match, and the totally polar view held by the referee as to the condition of the pitch compared to the other 150 people at the ground.”

Meanwhile, Devizes are calling on the local community to pitch in and do their part to help their football club flourish.

The Nursteed Road outfit are on the lookout for potential new committee members and volunteers to help with the running of the club.

A club statement said: “Devizes Town football club wish to advise all residents of the town that they are in need of help in running the club.

“We have a small voluntary committee, who work tirelessly for the benefit of the community. The first team play in a semi-professional league and we also have a reserve team and under 18s.

“We are getting it right on the pitch but we need help off the pitch with help and support, especially on match days.

“We are also looking for more sponsorship to help with the running costs of the club.

“There is also the possibility of key members of the committee stepping down at the end of the current season if help and support is not forthcoming soon.

“So if you want a local football club, please use it or lose it.”

To get in contact with the club, e-mail neil@hallmarkflooring.co.uk.

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