By Connor Steel
GOSPORT BOROUGH have announced their scheduled league clash against Weston-super-Mare has been postponed due to a frozen pitch surface at Privett Park; club officials and the match referees conducting their early inspection that ruled the conditions unplayable one day before Saturday’s encounter kicking off at 3pm.
This news was confirmed at approximately 4:45pm on Friday afternoon with the temperatures forecast to dip below freezing again tonight; which continues a prolonged spell of cold weather across Hampshire. Similarly icy conditions saw several games cancelled last weekend, including clashes for both Fareham / Portchester.
It is the 4th match at Privett Park to be postponed during the 2022-23 season so far; Gosport’s cup game in mid-October versus Locks Heath finally been played at the 3rd time of asking after 2 previous cancellations due to heavy rain. Their game against Salisbury was also moved in September due to Her Majesty’s death.
A large crowd was expected at Privett Park with the hosts experiencing a big upturn in form since appointing new director of football Mark Moseley; first beating Tiverton Town two weeks ago before sealing a comeback 3-2 win over Merthyr. Festive music and treats were further set to be on offer for all supporters in attendance.
The decision was made to prevent unnecessary travel for the visitors through Saturday morning with an ‘ice’ weather warning likely to cover Somerset; Weston-super-Mare thanking their hosts for alerting them in good time with fellow Southern League teams setting off last weekend only to hear of cancellations at short notice.
But some felt the announcement was made too early with temperatures forecast to rise from 7am tomorrow and believed the pitch should have been given extra time to thaw out during Saturday morning. Other sides such as Fareham and Portchester will hold pitch inspections at approximately 9am before any final decision.
One fan told the Globe: “I would have left this decision until 8:30-9am with temperatures likely to rise and the sunny conditions due tomorrow morning. I understand their travel arrangements, but feel this postponement will affect the team’s momentum and feel it was a mistake to potentially lose matchday revenue so early on.”
No new date has been announced for this fixture although it looks likely to be a midweek kick-off in the New Year; Weston-super-Mare sitting top of the Southern League and looking to complete a league double over Gosport after beating them 3-0 back in August. The Seagull’s next match will be a trip to Tiverton on 26/12.
Gosport also face a nine-day wait until their upcoming scheduled match in the Southern League, which will see them travel to Hartley Wintney on Boxing Day. They will then host Winchester City at home on January before making a lengthy trip to Plymouth Parkway five days later; all of the three games kicking off at 3pm.
PICTURED BY TOM PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY: Weston-super-Mare players celebrate a goal in three-nil victory over Gosport at the Optima Stadium, but the reverse fixture on Saturday has sadly been postponed.