CORSHAM Town have defended the club after their FA Vase fourth-round tie against Deal Town was postponed with less than an hour until kick-off on Saturday.

Kent-based Deal were given the green light to travel across after a pitch inspection was conducted 24 hours before kick-off and a qualified referee deemed the Southbank surface would likely be fit to play on.

Corsham said that, on Saturday morning, the initial surface frost had cleared and preparations began to put the game on.

But just after 2pm, Deal tweeted to say the game had been called off as the referee decided the pitch was still frozen and therefore too dangerous for the players.

The late call led to anger from the travelling supporters and officials, and abuse was directed at Corsham on social media.

Responding to the controversial decision to call the game off so late, as well as the backlash the club received, in a lengthy statement, the Quarrymen said: “While we appreciate the frustrations of the supporters and the general public, we would like to make it very clear that we as a club did everything we were asked of the FA and not once was our intention to waste anybody’s times.

“We have worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to ensure that this fixture would be a success and feel let down to read some of the comments made towards us.

“We as a club can tolerate some bad press from time to time because that is part and parcel of what we do. However, one thing we do not tolerate is abuse directed at any of our volunteers.

“We have done everything that we were asked of by the Football Association, and the decision to call the game off will always sit with the match referee, not the home club.”

The latest rearranged game is due to take place this Saturday (January 28).

Meanwhile, only one game involving a Wiltshire side took place over the weekend due to frozen pitches. Bradford Town’s Hellenic League Premier Division clash away at Hereford Pegasus ended 4-0 to Hereford.