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It's disappointing for everyone who put the effort in, says Herne Bay boss Simon Halsey PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 11 February 2012
HERNE BAY manager Simon Halsey says his side will repay the heroic efforts from groundsman Charlie Turner and his band of volunteers by progressing into the quarter-finals of The FA Carlsberg Vase next Saturday.

Snow had covered the pitch at Winch’s Field during the week leading up to today’s LAST SIXTEEN clash against Bath based Larkhall Athletic – but the heroics of Turner, Jim Bubb, Anthony Deer, Aaron Smith and John Bathurst (and others) ensured that snow was cleared off the pitch.

The match had passed a pitch inspection at 2:30pm yesterday afternoon but the groundstaff worked tirelessly last night to ensure that today’s big game stood a chance.

But their heroic efforts ended in bitter disappointment early this morning when match referee Colin Lymer inspected the pitch again and called the game off just before eight o’clock – thanks to a severe temperature of minus seven.

Herne Bay are not just the only club to face disappointment as every single game in Kent today was called off thanks to the cold snap. 

“If the temperature stayed as they have been all week around the minus 1s and zeros we would have got the game on but it’s that minus seven that has absolutely killed us this morning,” admitted a disappointed Halsey.

“Other than that the pitch was clear, as you can see in the pictures, it was there!

“The referee had a look yesterday afternoon and said ‘that’s fine!  Get the rest of the ice and snow off it, then it’s game on!

“The effort of Charlie Turner, he’s the groundsman, he’s the twins (Jamie and Michael Turner) uncle.  We call him Uncle Charlie – and he’s not stopped there all week!

“Everyone – supporters’, under 18s and we’ve managed to get hold of a Bobcat yesterday afternoon that took the remainder of the snow off and they’ve not stopped to be honest.

“It’s disappointing for them – they’ve put a bold effort in!”

Halsey has decided to give his Kent Hurlimann Football League leaders the day off but it’s back to training on Monday evening and most will play in Wednesday night’s home reserve team game against Erith Town to blow the cobwebs away.

Herne Bay haven’t played since their only league defeat of the season, away to VCD Athletic, on 28 January.

Halsey said:  “Now our reserve game on Wednesday night will be able to go ahead, which will be good for me and the snow won’t melt on the pitch and won’t put next Saturday in jeopardy.  It’s all off, it’s clear and we can control the pitch.”

Halsey insists he will repay the club for their sterling pitch clearing efforts when they lock horns against Western League outfit Larkhall Athletic next Saturday.

He said: “It adds a little bit.  Myself and my players want to win the game no matter what but hopefully it just pushes everyone on and it adds to my chat before we go out there saying a lot of people put a lot of time and effort in.

“We’re going to repay them anyway but we want to win the game.  Everyone’s behind them and wants to do the best we can.

“It’s disappointing for everyone who’s put the effort in really.

“I was going to get them into training today but sometimes as a manager you have to look at the whole situation so I said spend a bit of time with your families and we go in Monday night and we’ll blow the cob webs out on Wednesday.”

Larkhall were going to embark on their trip from Bath City’s Twerton Park ground at eight o’clock this morning – at least everyone has been spared from a wasted trip!

Halsey said:  “It’s nice and sunny out there now but with such a distance from Larkhall we couldn’t risk them coming that far and the temperature dropping at two o’clock and the pitch freezing over. 

“We’ve got the main stand over by the railway side, which is covered, but even at three o’clock that part of the pitch would be hard.”

With every other game involving a Kent League club called off yesterday, Herne Bay were hoping for a bumper gate had supporters’ braved the biting cold.

Halsey said:  “If we got that game on today we may have touched a thousand with no Kent football today.  I’m disappointed for the club as it would have brought some revenue in.  It would have been a good day.

The Larkhall Athletic game has been re-arranged for next Saturday, 18th February.

“If people don’t get on their pitches and clear them they won’t be clear by next week so we’ll have a good crowd there next week now the snow’s off it.  The groundsman’s got a week to work on it. That’s why we’re confident Wednesday’s game will be on,” added Halsey, whose side have the quality of keeping the Wembley dream, and by that I mean lifting The FA Carlsberg Vase on 13 May, alive!

Visit Herne Bay’s website: www.hernebayfc.net

Herne Bay  v  Larkhall Athletic
The FA Carlsberg Vase Fifth Round
Saturday 18th February 2012
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Winch’s Field, Stanley Gardens, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 5SG
Last Updated ( Saturday, 11 February 2012 )
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