12 December 2015
The weather was the only winner in Saturday's Derbyshire Senior Cup 3rd Round tie at the lmpact Arena, where Alfreton Town were beating Whaley Bridge Athletic 1-0 when proceedings were brought to a halt in the 66th minute.
Torrential rain had fallen all morning and for most of the tie, and despite the pitch holding firm and barely cutting up the real problem was the volume of standing water that made play farcical at times.
Referee Tim Walker had little choice but to abandon the game, but might have timed his decision better, the last action of the tie being to send off a second Whaley Bridge player - Josh Bailey - who had just picked up a second yellow card.
Bill Sutton had been somewhat harshly dismissed in the 25th minute, when he could barely avoid handling John Johnston's full-blooded drive, the ensuing penalty dispatched confidently by Johnston to give the Reds the lead.
Although there are five divisions between the clubs the Peak District visitors held Alfreton to that one goal, and seven minutes before the premature conclusion Tom Scorer was only prevented from living up to his name by the crossbar after being sent through by Jack Gregory.
An incident in the third minute had immobilised Reds' keeper Nick Draper, a back pass having stopped short on the tricky surface with an accidental collision unavoidable as Adam Jarad slid in.
Draper was unable to take goal-kicks for a while and also had great difficulty fielding a huge clearance from opposite number James Tattersall midway through the first half, but comfortably held a 50th minute looping header from Jarad.
Alfreton went close through Sam Smith, Sam Jones and Dan Bradley without needing to engage second gear, but with conditions deteriorating rapidly it became too difficult for either side to impress, and a routine tap-in from close range in the 57th minute by Jamie Jackson that stopped short in the water highlighted the problem.
Alfreton Town Team:
Lindon Meikle [Jamie Jackson, h/t]
Substitutes not used:
Whaley Bridge Athletic Team:
Substitutes not used:
Alfreton Town - John Johnston (25 mins, penalty)
Man of the Match: None named
Referee: Timothy Walker of Belper