Mat Sadler Frustrated as Referee Leaves it Late to Call Off Alfreton Town Clash Mat Sadler Frustrated as Referee Leaves it Late to Call Off Alfreton Town Clash
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Mat Sadler Frustrated as Referee Leaves it Late to Call Off Alfreton Town Clash

The Walsall boss pulled no punches in his criticism of the match officials.
Bescot Banter - Walsall FC NewsWalsall Head Coach Mat Sadler has spoken of his frustration as the match officials waited until the final stages of the pre-match build-up to call off the televised Emirates FA Cup - Second Round clash between the Saddlers and Alfreton Town.

With team news confirmed, warm-ups completed, and a sell-out crowd in attendance, referee Sam Allison called both managers together to let them know he was unhappy with the pitch at the Impact Arena, meaning the match would be postponed.

Sadler, who was hoping to guide his team to a potentially money-spinning Third Round tie, insisted it was abundantly clear that the match would not go ahead earlier in the day, and insisted officials could have made their decision earlier.

Speaking to the assembled media, including the Express & Star; "The referee initially saw it and assessed it, and he said, he felt it was playable when he first assessed it, whatever that time was.

"And then we waited and waited until about fifteen minutes before kick-off. He came out a lot later than he usually would've done. It wasn't safe to play.

"We waited far too long if I am honest because people could've turned around quite early. Common sense prevailed, it just took a long time to get there."

Sadler went on to vent his frustration on behalf of the Saddlers faithful, who had made the hour-long journey to the Impact Arena, with the Birmingham-born boss insisting the fixture would have been shelved much earlier if not for the BBC cameras in attendance.

Mat continued; "Let's all be honest about why the game was on. If the cameras weren't here, the game would've been called off a long time ago.

"But we tried to get it going because of that and we couldn't. I think it's a disgrace that they've had to travel this far on a day when the game was clearly going to be called off.

"I get that they left the covers on so they gave it as much chance as possible but as soon as they came off, and they were off when I got here an hour and forty-five minutes before kick-off, it was hard in areas, and it should've been called off earlier because it would've saved the supporters the journey."
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