Lancers’ abandonment labelled ‘mystifying’

W10132H14 Lancing V Chichester. Action from the match.
W10132H14 Lancing V Chichester. Action from the match.
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LANCING Football Club’s home clash against Chichester in County League Division 1 was abandoned after just 18 minutes on Saturday.

Conditions were far from great at Culver Road in one of only three matches to start across the whole of the league.

Visiting Chi were leading 1-0 through a 12th-minute Dan Hegarty goal when the game was called off six minutes later.

Referee Michael Ryan abandoned the game owing to a waterlogged pitch, despite the Culver Road surface being in a similar state to when the match started.

Lancing manager Richard Whittington called the decision ‘mystifying’.

He said: “There’s no logic to it, surely if he calls it off after 18 minutes when the conditions are no worse than when is started, there’s no point in starting it at all.

“It was mystifying and annoying for everyone as the conditions hadn’t changed and it was farcical, really.

“To his credit, though, Michael has since apologised to us and turned down his fee.

“He admitted he made a mistake in starting the game, most refs lack common sense but he is a good ref and all credit to him for that.”

Before the game was abandoned, Chichester’s George Landais and Tom Groom were denied by James Shaw, while Dominic Shepherd put a free kick over for Lancing.

Hegarty put Chi ahead when he knocked in a loose ball after Landais had a shot blocked, but, in the 18th minute, referee Ryan ruled enough was enough.

East Preston’s home clash in the same division was the only match to see a result as the league leaders beat Selsey 4-0. In the other match that started, a Reserve Section East Division match between Seaford and Bexhill, the game was abandoned at half-time with the score 1-1.