SWINDON TOWN: Williams backs decision to call off Crawley clash

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon Town assistant coach Luke Williams Swindon Town assistant coach Luke Williams

SWINDON Town’s assistant coach Luke Williams felt referee Steven Rushton was right to call off the scheduled visit of Crawley Town to the County Ground this afternoon.

Rushton postponed the game at 1pm due to a waterlogged pitch following heavy overnight rain and further poor weather throughout the day.

Williams accepted that the official had no choice but to cancel the match, saying: “Clearly it’s not playable. The ball won’t bounce or move true so it would have been a shambles. They (the referees) know what they’re doing and they’re determined to get a game on if it’s safe enough and if it’s going to be a realistic option. Today it wasn’t so fair play to the ref.

“If we’d have had any let-up from the rain we would have been on because the groundstaff are very good at getting all the surface water off the pitch and the pitch itself is well bedded in, but there was no break from the rain.

“We’re actually really pleased it didn’t get called off last night because you can imagine a lot of young men with enrvous energy getting ready for a game of football. If they get the call and nine o’clock saying the game’s off then all hell could have broken loose.”

No new date has yet been set for the match, with Williams saying: “Nothing has been planned yet. Obviously with the Johnstone’s Paint two games we’ve got a very busy schedule so we’re going to have to have a look at that and the FA will have a look as well.”

Comments (24)

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4:42pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Oi Den! says...

Aaahh, we can't have the poor mites getting an early call to tell them the game's off, can we? Much better to cause the fans wasted time and money by failing to mention that it's been hammering down with rain for hours and the pitch is likely to be more suitable for water polo than football.
Aaahh, we can't have the poor mites getting an early call to tell them the game's off, can we? Much better to cause the fans wasted time and money by failing to mention that it's been hammering down with rain for hours and the pitch is likely to be more suitable for water polo than football. Oi Den!

5:13pm Wed 1 Jan 14

grakew123 says...

Wrong Midday Tweet by town that the pitch was payable and no further inspections would take place.....
Wrong Midday Tweet by town that the pitch was payable and no further inspections would take place..... grakew123

5:33pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Di kanny oh says...

In times like these where clubs need all the fans they can get there was no way this game would take place and decisions should have been made to consider the many fans traveling from outside the area. I was in the Swiss Chalet at 12 and a few guys arrived from Weymouth to support the Town so not much thought for the supporter in this case. Should have had an early pitch inspection in view of the shocking weather and the fact that we had worse to come. Its ok agreeing that the Ref was right but what happened a few hours earlier.
In times like these where clubs need all the fans they can get there was no way this game would take place and decisions should have been made to consider the many fans traveling from outside the area. I was in the Swiss Chalet at 12 and a few guys arrived from Weymouth to support the Town so not much thought for the supporter in this case. Should have had an early pitch inspection in view of the shocking weather and the fact that we had worse to come. Its ok agreeing that the Ref was right but what happened a few hours earlier. Di kanny oh

5:40pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Since 1950 says...

Thanks for the totally wasted day!

If the pitch wasn't playable at 1300 it probably wasn't playable at 1000 given the rain and the forecast. I waited for a train until the last minute, checking the net and being assured that no pitch inspection was needed, only to find that when on the train and about half a mile from the station the game was off. That's after getting bloody soaked walking to the station and bloody soaked walking back again! Once again the Fans are treated like crap!!
Thanks for the totally wasted day! If the pitch wasn't playable at 1300 it probably wasn't playable at 1000 given the rain and the forecast. I waited for a train until the last minute, checking the net and being assured that no pitch inspection was needed, only to find that when on the train and about half a mile from the station the game was off. That's after getting bloody soaked walking to the station and bloody soaked walking back again! Once again the Fans are treated like crap!! Since 1950

5:48pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Warwickshire Red says...

I only found out the game was off when I reached Highworth. 120 mile round trip which could have been avoided. Frustrating but I spare a thought for the taxi bringing all of the away support.
I only found out the game was off when I reached Highworth. 120 mile round trip which could have been avoided. Frustrating but I spare a thought for the taxi bringing all of the away support. Warwickshire Red

5:57pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Since 1950 says...

Oh, and Williams, why the feck wasn't it called off sooner? Hope you didn't have far to travel!
Oh, and Williams, why the feck wasn't it called off sooner? Hope you didn't have far to travel! Since 1950

6:30pm Wed 1 Jan 14

london paolo says...

Not too happy. Drove all the way down from London. At 12.30 heard that Newport, Bristol City and Salisbury were off, but not Swindon's game. These things should be sorted earlier, or at least warnings made (and refunds given - it's not possible to get down for midweek games)
Not too happy. Drove all the way down from London. At 12.30 heard that Newport, Bristol City and Salisbury were off, but not Swindon's game. These things should be sorted earlier, or at least warnings made (and refunds given - it's not possible to get down for midweek games) london paolo

6:38pm Wed 1 Jan 14

LeGod says...

Sod the fans 6 of us left Southampton for this game only to find out half way to Swindon the game was off.
Never mind were only the fans who gives a toss
Sod the fans 6 of us left Southampton for this game only to find out half way to Swindon the game was off. Never mind were only the fans who gives a toss LeGod

6:54pm Wed 1 Jan 14

ging999 says...

All these complaints above, which to a certain extent I can understand and have some sympathy............
..but the clubs and referee's on these occasions can never be right.
If they'd called off the game very early this morning, to save everyone from travelling..........
and then the sun came out, would we be happy ?. No.
Yes I saw the forecast but forecasts are not always right.
Most unfortunate but the club waited for as long as possible before calling it off. Strangely enough it might even help us to get some players fit, or even get in some new ones. Hey ho, off to the shops I suppose. Boo Hiss.
All these complaints above, which to a certain extent I can understand and have some sympathy............ ..but the clubs and referee's on these occasions can never be right. If they'd called off the game very early this morning, to save everyone from travelling.......... and then the sun came out, would we be happy ?. No. Yes I saw the forecast but forecasts are not always right. Most unfortunate but the club waited for as long as possible before calling it off. Strangely enough it might even help us to get some players fit, or even get in some new ones. Hey ho, off to the shops I suppose. Boo Hiss. ging999

7:49pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Oi Den! says...

Ging, the postponement itself is not the problem. The club put out a message at midday saying the pitch was playable and no inspection was planned. That implies the game was not in doubt at all, when in fact fact it was eventually called off at 1pm. If they'd been more realistic and actually said they were leaving it as late as possible to have the pitch inspected, our fans and Crawley's could have made an informed decision as to whether to travel or not. Some will no doubt have taken the chance; some may have thought it wasn't worth risking the time and money. We're not talking about a flash flood that happened just after midday. There had been several hours of torrential rain.

I agree with you entirely about the difficulty clubs and referees have with postponements but the club got this wrong.
Ging, the postponement itself is not the problem. The club put out a message at midday saying the pitch was playable and no inspection was planned. That implies the game was not in doubt at all, when in fact fact it was eventually called off at 1pm. If they'd been more realistic and actually said they were leaving it as late as possible to have the pitch inspected, our fans and Crawley's could have made an informed decision as to whether to travel or not. Some will no doubt have taken the chance; some may have thought it wasn't worth risking the time and money. We're not talking about a flash flood that happened just after midday. There had been several hours of torrential rain. I agree with you entirely about the difficulty clubs and referees have with postponements but the club got this wrong. Oi Den!

8:10pm Wed 1 Jan 14

swindonbob says...

It was right to postpone the game. I went to Bournemouth and Orient last season and both were shambolic. Better to play on a decent pitch. It's annoying for those travelling but best in the long run. I've been to Bolton and Aldershot to name a couple when the game was called off when I'd arrived at the grounds, but sometimes it's unavoidable.
It was right to postpone the game. I went to Bournemouth and Orient last season and both were shambolic. Better to play on a decent pitch. It's annoying for those travelling but best in the long run. I've been to Bolton and Aldershot to name a couple when the game was called off when I'd arrived at the grounds, but sometimes it's unavoidable. swindonbob

8:17pm Wed 1 Jan 14

ging999 says...

Oi Den! wrote:
Ging, the postponement itself is not the problem. The club put out a message at midday saying the pitch was playable and no inspection was planned. That implies the game was not in doubt at all, when in fact fact it was eventually called off at 1pm. If they'd been more realistic and actually said they were leaving it as late as possible to have the pitch inspected, our fans and Crawley's could have made an informed decision as to whether to travel or not. Some will no doubt have taken the chance; some may have thought it wasn't worth risking the time and money. We're not talking about a flash flood that happened just after midday. There had been several hours of torrential rain.

I agree with you entirely about the difficulty clubs and referees have with postponements but the club got this wrong.
True enough Den. I saw that message at midday and thought no problems then. I set off at 1.30pm and got about 400yds before Radio5 said it was off, so I was quite lucky.
Agreed the 'it's on', message was misleading and that's why people got upset.
[quote][p][bold]Oi Den![/bold] wrote: Ging, the postponement itself is not the problem. The club put out a message at midday saying the pitch was playable and no inspection was planned. That implies the game was not in doubt at all, when in fact fact it was eventually called off at 1pm. If they'd been more realistic and actually said they were leaving it as late as possible to have the pitch inspected, our fans and Crawley's could have made an informed decision as to whether to travel or not. Some will no doubt have taken the chance; some may have thought it wasn't worth risking the time and money. We're not talking about a flash flood that happened just after midday. There had been several hours of torrential rain. I agree with you entirely about the difficulty clubs and referees have with postponements but the club got this wrong.[/p][/quote]True enough Den. I saw that message at midday and thought no problems then. I set off at 1.30pm and got about 400yds before Radio5 said it was off, so I was quite lucky. Agreed the 'it's on', message was misleading and that's why people got upset. ging999

10:31pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Graham8181 says...

Hearing a lot about / from Williams lately, where's our manager gone??
Hearing a lot about / from Williams lately, where's our manager gone?? Graham8181

10:39pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Di kanny oh says...

ging999 wrote:
Oi Den! wrote:
Ging, the postponement itself is not the problem. The club put out a message at midday saying the pitch was playable and no inspection was planned. That implies the game was not in doubt at all, when in fact fact it was eventually called off at 1pm. If they'd been more realistic and actually said they were leaving it as late as possible to have the pitch inspected, our fans and Crawley's could have made an informed decision as to whether to travel or not. Some will no doubt have taken the chance; some may have thought it wasn't worth risking the time and money. We're not talking about a flash flood that happened just after midday. There had been several hours of torrential rain.

I agree with you entirely about the difficulty clubs and referees have with postponements but the club got this wrong.
True enough Den. I saw that message at midday and thought no problems then. I set off at 1.30pm and got about 400yds before Radio5 said it was off, so I was quite lucky.
Agreed the 'it's on', message was misleading and that's why people got upset.
We had so much rain up to when they so called announced the pitch was playable that in no way was the right statement to give out and was a massive error by the club. I was getting ready at 11.30 and looked out of the window and it was slashing down and I actually thought to myself how on earth is this game still on and it felt a complete waste of time even as I got down to the swiss chalet. The roads around were flooded and the field at Gorse Hill looked like a pond that tells me the rainfall by 12.00 midday was just horrendous and there is no way on earth that amount of water and rainfall would have remotely led to the game being on. Who on earth made that statement from the club totally ridiculous.
[quote][p][bold]ging999[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Oi Den![/bold] wrote: Ging, the postponement itself is not the problem. The club put out a message at midday saying the pitch was playable and no inspection was planned. That implies the game was not in doubt at all, when in fact fact it was eventually called off at 1pm. If they'd been more realistic and actually said they were leaving it as late as possible to have the pitch inspected, our fans and Crawley's could have made an informed decision as to whether to travel or not. Some will no doubt have taken the chance; some may have thought it wasn't worth risking the time and money. We're not talking about a flash flood that happened just after midday. There had been several hours of torrential rain. I agree with you entirely about the difficulty clubs and referees have with postponements but the club got this wrong.[/p][/quote]True enough Den. I saw that message at midday and thought no problems then. I set off at 1.30pm and got about 400yds before Radio5 said it was off, so I was quite lucky. Agreed the 'it's on', message was misleading and that's why people got upset.[/p][/quote]We had so much rain up to when they so called announced the pitch was playable that in no way was the right statement to give out and was a massive error by the club. I was getting ready at 11.30 and looked out of the window and it was slashing down and I actually thought to myself how on earth is this game still on and it felt a complete waste of time even as I got down to the swiss chalet. The roads around were flooded and the field at Gorse Hill looked like a pond that tells me the rainfall by 12.00 midday was just horrendous and there is no way on earth that amount of water and rainfall would have remotely led to the game being on. Who on earth made that statement from the club totally ridiculous. Di kanny oh

10:51pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Di kanny oh says...

Graham8181 wrote:
Hearing a lot about / from Williams lately, where's our manager gone??
Good question as it transpired Cooper was on his way and when the game was called off Cooper was still on route and turned round and went home. I do have a suspicion with the availability of players Town wanted this off which is why Cooper was not even at the ground by 1.00pm.
Ok fair shout if we had no fit strikers but why not admit the game was in doubt rather than give ridiculous statements out that the pitch was playable, there is no way on this earth that game was playable at 9 in the morning let alone midday when they announced the pitch being playable.
[quote][p][bold]Graham8181[/bold] wrote: Hearing a lot about / from Williams lately, where's our manager gone??[/p][/quote]Good question as it transpired Cooper was on his way and when the game was called off Cooper was still on route and turned round and went home. I do have a suspicion with the availability of players Town wanted this off which is why Cooper was not even at the ground by 1.00pm. Ok fair shout if we had no fit strikers but why not admit the game was in doubt rather than give ridiculous statements out that the pitch was playable, there is no way on this earth that game was playable at 9 in the morning let alone midday when they announced the pitch being playable. Di kanny oh

11:02pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Cleuso says...

Never a right or wrong time to do this.... the next time its called off early but at kick off time or the weather improved and it could have been played there would have been howls of protests about it being "too early".

Obviously it's annoying to have travelled and then find it off, real frustration but twitter updates and global media now only raise the anti of a perfect scenario every time. In days gone by you would have got to the ground before you knew anything was amiss.

Yet many fans remember conditions of years past where conditions were far worse yet games were played and players were definitely in more danger then, than now in the "non contact" sport we have today, so the trawled out explanation excuse by the authorities representatives (referees)... saying "Players safety" is the reason is a politcal correctness cop out of the highrest order. The pitch is waterlogged is adequately sufficient for all to understand the reason, no need to be defensive by offering further explanation to justify a decision

Everyone wants perfection... it's just not going to happen and we have to live with it in its present guise and just get on with it, or get plastic pitches... No !!!!!.

If only we had been given a boxing day home game this season for the first time in ages we would have played.... pretty sure given the weather today the attendance would have been far lower than could be expected in a festive fixture.
Never a right or wrong time to do this.... the next time its called off early but at kick off time or the weather improved and it could have been played there would have been howls of protests about it being "too early". Obviously it's annoying to have travelled and then find it off, real frustration but twitter updates and global media now only raise the anti of a perfect scenario every time. In days gone by you would have got to the ground before you knew anything was amiss. Yet many fans remember conditions of years past where conditions were far worse yet games were played and players were definitely in more danger then, than now in the "non contact" sport we have today, so the trawled out explanation excuse by the authorities representatives (referees)... saying "Players safety" is the reason is a politcal correctness cop out of the highrest order. The pitch is waterlogged is adequately sufficient for all to understand the reason, no need to be defensive by offering further explanation to justify a decision Everyone wants perfection... it's just not going to happen and we have to live with it in its present guise and just get on with it, or get plastic pitches... No !!!!!. If only we had been given a boxing day home game this season for the first time in ages we would have played.... pretty sure given the weather today the attendance would have been far lower than could be expected in a festive fixture. Cleuso

11:07pm Wed 1 Jan 14

SeanG92 says...

Whats with all the interviews with Williams of late?
Whats with all the interviews with Williams of late? SeanG92

11:07pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Cleuso says...

Di kanny oh wrote:
Graham8181 wrote:
Hearing a lot about / from Williams lately, where's our manager gone??
Good question as it transpired Cooper was on his way and when the game was called off Cooper was still on route and turned round and went home. I do have a suspicion with the availability of players Town wanted this off which is why Cooper was not even at the ground by 1.00pm.
Ok fair shout if we had no fit strikers but why not admit the game was in doubt rather than give ridiculous statements out that the pitch was playable, there is no way on this earth that game was playable at 9 in the morning let alone midday when they announced the pitch being playable.
Were you at the ground at 9 am. and inspecting the pitch..??? If not how do you know or are you just guessing ????

Have to say there was less water standing on the roads today than there was after we played a game a few weeks ago....when Queens drive was like Coate water, but not nearly as bad today
[quote][p][bold]Di kanny oh[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Graham8181[/bold] wrote: Hearing a lot about / from Williams lately, where's our manager gone??[/p][/quote]Good question as it transpired Cooper was on his way and when the game was called off Cooper was still on route and turned round and went home. I do have a suspicion with the availability of players Town wanted this off which is why Cooper was not even at the ground by 1.00pm. Ok fair shout if we had no fit strikers but why not admit the game was in doubt rather than give ridiculous statements out that the pitch was playable, there is no way on this earth that game was playable at 9 in the morning let alone midday when they announced the pitch being playable.[/p][/quote]Were you at the ground at 9 am. and inspecting the pitch..??? If not how do you know or are you just guessing ???? Have to say there was less water standing on the roads today than there was after we played a game a few weeks ago....when Queens drive was like Coate water, but not nearly as bad today Cleuso

11:17pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Cleuso says...

SeanG92 wrote:
Whats with all the interviews with Williams of late?
Cooper got sent to Old Trafford to advise Sherwood and help mastermind Spurs victory over Manure....well at least that is what some fans would have you believe....
[quote][p][bold]SeanG92[/bold] wrote: Whats with all the interviews with Williams of late?[/p][/quote]Cooper got sent to Old Trafford to advise Sherwood and help mastermind Spurs victory over Manure....well at least that is what some fans would have you believe.... Cleuso

11:24pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Di kanny oh says...

Cleuso wrote:
Never a right or wrong time to do this.... the next time its called off early but at kick off time or the weather improved and it could have been played there would have been howls of protests about it being "too early".

Obviously it's annoying to have travelled and then find it off, real frustration but twitter updates and global media now only raise the anti of a perfect scenario every time. In days gone by you would have got to the ground before you knew anything was amiss.

Yet many fans remember conditions of years past where conditions were far worse yet games were played and players were definitely in more danger then, than now in the "non contact" sport we have today, so the trawled out explanation excuse by the authorities representatives (referees)... saying "Players safety" is the reason is a politcal correctness cop out of the highrest order. The pitch is waterlogged is adequately sufficient for all to understand the reason, no need to be defensive by offering further explanation to justify a decision

Everyone wants perfection... it's just not going to happen and we have to live with it in its present guise and just get on with it, or get plastic pitches... No !!!!!.

If only we had been given a boxing day home game this season for the first time in ages we would have played.... pretty sure given the weather today the attendance would have been far lower than could be expected in a festive fixture.
Never stopped raining through the early hours by the ground as I live near it so my view it was far worse than we have had all season just my view by the way.
[quote][p][bold]Cleuso[/bold] wrote: Never a right or wrong time to do this.... the next time its called off early but at kick off time or the weather improved and it could have been played there would have been howls of protests about it being "too early". Obviously it's annoying to have travelled and then find it off, real frustration but twitter updates and global media now only raise the anti of a perfect scenario every time. In days gone by you would have got to the ground before you knew anything was amiss. Yet many fans remember conditions of years past where conditions were far worse yet games were played and players were definitely in more danger then, than now in the "non contact" sport we have today, so the trawled out explanation excuse by the authorities representatives (referees)... saying "Players safety" is the reason is a politcal correctness cop out of the highrest order. The pitch is waterlogged is adequately sufficient for all to understand the reason, no need to be defensive by offering further explanation to justify a decision Everyone wants perfection... it's just not going to happen and we have to live with it in its present guise and just get on with it, or get plastic pitches... No !!!!!. If only we had been given a boxing day home game this season for the first time in ages we would have played.... pretty sure given the weather today the attendance would have been far lower than could be expected in a festive fixture.[/p][/quote]Never stopped raining through the early hours by the ground as I live near it so my view it was far worse than we have had all season just my view by the way. Di kanny oh

11:24pm Wed 1 Jan 14

MarksDad says...

Cleuso wrote:
SeanG92 wrote:
Whats with all the interviews with Williams of late?
Cooper got sent to Old Trafford to advise Sherwood and help mastermind Spurs victory over Manure....well at least that is what some fans would have you believe....
****!
[quote][p][bold]Cleuso[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SeanG92[/bold] wrote: Whats with all the interviews with Williams of late?[/p][/quote]Cooper got sent to Old Trafford to advise Sherwood and help mastermind Spurs victory over Manure....well at least that is what some fans would have you believe....[/p][/quote]****! MarksDad

12:15am Thu 2 Jan 14

stranglers says...

Graham8181 wrote:
Hearing a lot about / from Williams lately, where's our manager gone??
Gone hopefully.
[quote][p][bold]Graham8181[/bold] wrote: Hearing a lot about / from Williams lately, where's our manager gone??[/p][/quote]Gone hopefully. stranglers

12:12pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Oi Den! says...

Cleuso, nobody's looking for perfection here. It has nothing to do with modern technology either.

It had been raining heavily overnight and all morning.
Apparently somebody inspected the pitch at around 11 a.m. Given the deluge we'd already had, It's surprising it was still playable then. However, let's give the groundsman credit for that. But yet more heavy rain was forecast before kick-off. It should have been clear that a postponement was at least a strong possibility.
Anyone who doesn't live in Swindon would have had no idea of how bad the rain was.

Surely the message should have been something like "The pitch is currently playable but more heavy rain is forecast and a further inspection, by the referee, will be required."?

I do sympathise with the club in situations like this. I just think they should have given the fans a bit more consideration.
Cleuso, nobody's looking for perfection here. It has nothing to do with modern technology either. It had been raining heavily overnight and all morning. Apparently somebody inspected the pitch at around 11 a.m. Given the deluge we'd already had, It's surprising it was still playable then. However, let's give the groundsman credit for that. But yet more heavy rain was forecast before kick-off. It should have been clear that a postponement was at least a strong possibility. Anyone who doesn't live in Swindon would have had no idea of how bad the rain was. Surely the message should have been something like "The pitch is currently playable but more heavy rain is forecast and a further inspection, by the referee, will be required."? I do sympathise with the club in situations like this. I just think they should have given the fans a bit more consideration. Oi Den!

2:01pm Thu 2 Jan 14

london paolo says...

Those are exactly my sentiments Den. And that's exactly the message they should have sent out, not the misleading information they chose instead. On that basis we would probably not have chanced it and stayed at home in front of the fire. Can't get to many games, and it costs exponentially more in time and money to support the team when you live 80-90 miles away. There just really isn't a culture of thinking about the supporter, and we're certainly not the only club guilty of that.
Those are exactly my sentiments Den. And that's exactly the message they should have sent out, not the misleading information they chose instead. On that basis we would probably not have chanced it and stayed at home in front of the fire. Can't get to many games, and it costs exponentially more in time and money to support the team when you live 80-90 miles away. There just really isn't a culture of thinking about the supporter, and we're certainly not the only club guilty of that. london paolo

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