Increasingly frustrated Sidley United manager John Lambert has launched an attack on some Sussex County League referees, saying he thinks games are just being called-off purely because the officials ‘don’t fancy it’.
The Blues have played just once since December 11, and Lambert has this week seen matches at home to Shoreham and away to Rye United postponed.
“What is happening to the game I love so much?” Lambert questioned. “In 45 years of being involved in football, I’ve never experienced something like this.”
Last Saturday before the Shoreham game, the Gullivers surface passed an initial inspection only for the referee to arrive at the ground and promptly over-rule the initial decision. A furious Lambert claimed the pitch was in a playable condition, and stated he can tell whether a ref really wants the game to go ahead or not.
“We had people here on Saturday morning, giving up their free time,” Lambert continued. “They were here out of the kindness of their hearts trying to help us get this game on, and then the ref turns up and cancels it.
“I’m fed up with the refs saying the surfaces are too muddy and too dangerous. I’ve never seen anyone injured because of mud.
“In my day, the ref would roll a ball along the surface. But now they bounce it. On Saturday, the ball bounced about a foot in the air, which apparently wasn’t enough. It’s pathetic. We’re not playing basketball. People have got to realise we’re not a Premier League side with a pitch like a billiards table. We need to get these games played.”
See tomorrow’s Bexhill Observer for the full article.