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Gillingham Town boss warns fixture pile-up could become a farce

By Western Gazette - North Dorset  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

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Gillingham Town FC

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THE Toolstation Western League fixture schedule could become "a farce" unless commonsense prevails with postponements, according to Gillingham Town manager Adrian Foster.

The Premier Divison boss fears having to field teams on Friday, Monday and Wednesday evenings during April to fulfil a campaign marred by waterlogged and frozen pitches.

His latest disappointment came at Dorset rivals Bridport last weekend, where Gill arrived at 2pm only to find areas of the pitch covered in sand and the referee unprepared to risk the safety of players.

Former West Bromwich Albion and Yeovil Town striker Foster argued that the condition of surfaces at this time of year has not worsened in the last decade, adding such fixture chaos had the potential to derail a potential promotion push.

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Confirming Gillingham could complain to the Western League, he said: "Saturday's game should never have been called off in a million years. Some of our lads had travelled an hour to get here and travelling expenses are not cheap, so someone will have to foot the bill as it should never have been postponed.

"They have got to realise that the pitches would have been like this ten years ago, there would never have been a nice pitch at this time of year. I watched England Under-21s on the television at the Bescot Stadium, Walsall, last week and the surface was a in a right state with rain lashing down.

"We have got a massive backlog now and it is going to be a nightmare. Games have to be played as it is going to turn into a farce at the end of the season. Commonsense should prevail and they should get the two managers and two captains together before as well.

"The referee might not be sure but we may be happy to play. People will get injured whether it's a hard or soft pitch. If you turn up for pre-season the pitches are like concrete and it is no different now to people tackling, slipping and falling on that.

"I know we haven't applied for promotion this season but we will be next year. You could be playing three games a week, trying to get promotion. We just need to play the games, simple as that. Get them out the way otherwise it will cause a problem."

Gillingham were set to visit Odd Down on Tuesday and travel to Longwell Green Sports. Foster was hoping for back-to-back outings to resurrect hopes of silverware glory.

"We just need games now and we need to win games," he said. "If we win the majority it will push us back up. If we win three or four on the trot and our games in hand we will be second. As much as we want to win the league this year, next year will be the important one with our new ground.

"Our last game was against Wells and we weren't great but were still head and shoulders above them. The break didn't do us much good because we didn't look right. As games come now, hopefully points will snowball."

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