By Connor Steel
AFC PORTCHESTER’S away clash versus league title challengers Brockenhurst became a late victim of weather conditions on Saturday afternoon, with the waterlogged surface at Grigg Lane failing a second pitch inspection two hours before the scheduled kick-off time of 3pm.
At 11am it was confirmed that the highly anticipated Wessex League encounter was going ahead as scheduled with an initial pitch inspection was passed by match officials, thanks to the huge efforts of volunteers who met at the stadium from 9am to clear up all damage caused by Storm Eunice on Friday.
But following heavy lunchtime rain across the New Forest, Brockenhurst were forced to have a second inspection with the referee deeming the pitch unplayable. A joint announcement was made through media platforms at 1pm, with Portchester officials and staff either having to return home or aborting their journey after starting the 40 mile long trip.
The match has been provisionally rescheduled to be held on March 15 (Tuesday) kicking off at 7:45pm, with Portchester’s next league encounter being the visit of Baffins Milton Rovers next Saturday (February 26) in another top-of-the-table clash in the Wessex League Premier division. The Royals will then travel to US Portsmouth on March 1 before hosting Blackfield & Langley and Hamble Club respectively.
In other news the Royals have found out their potential opponents in the Hampshire Senior Cup semi-finals, having beaten Southern League outfit Hartley Wintney 1-0 back in January. They will face either Farnborough or Portsmouth in the next round as the two clash on Wednesday, whilst Totton will host fellow Southampton-based side Eastleigh in the other last four encounter. Again no dates have been released for either semi-final encounter.
PICTURED BY WYCOME WANDERER: The near-empty stand at Brockenhurst FC, Grigg Lane, where fans were due to attend before late postponement due to weather conditions.