BOTH managers were in agreement that referee Kevin Wright made the right decision to call-off Bury’s League Two match at Accrington Stanley.
Shakers boss David Flitcroft and his Stanley counterpart James Beattie spent almost half an hour with the Cambridgeshire official out on the pitch before the decision was finally taken at 2.15pm to postpone the game.
And while fans waiting outside the turnstiles showed their frustration after such a late call, Flitcroft was adamant the match official got it “spot on”.
“It was absolutely the right call by the referee,” he said.
“He thought long and hard about it. He’s got an assessor here and I think they have consulted as a committee and the referee has made the final decision, which I thought was absolutely spot on.
“He left it as late as he could, until 2.15pm, but we’ve been on the pitch and you could see the ball was not running true. He’s got it right.”
Large pools of standing water could be seen along the touchline bordering the main stand at the Store First Stadium, as well as in the corner flags.
The ball also kicked up spray in the centre circle as the match officials and both managers passed it between each other.
Beattie was satisfied that the referee had acted properly to come to the right decision.
“The referee was asking for input from both David (Flitcroft) and myself,” he explained.
“He initially got us out at about 1.50pm and both Dave and I agreed to try and give it 20 minutes to see if the water would drain through the pitch.
“It didn’t and the brighter weather that seemed to be coming from where the wind was blowing was becoming dark clouds, and there was more rain forecast, so the referee took the decision with Dave and my blessing to call the game off.
“There was standing water on the pitch, which is very unusual for this pitch.
“It wasn’t just a case that there was standing water in one area, it was all over the pitch as you could see by his demonstration of the ball rolling when he was trying to pass it.”
The Stanley boss did admit to frustration, however, after the pitch had initially stood up well to overnight rain before a torrential downpour after lunch pushed it over the edge.
“The pitch was magnificent and there have been a lot of games called off recently within this area where our pitch has stood up to the weather.
“But the deluge – from about 12.30pm to about 1.15pm – put paid to the game. The weather is becoming increasingly more severe and that downpour was just like something out of a film.
“The pitch succumbed to the water that came down and, as I say, there’s not an awful lot we can do about the weather, we can’t change that.”