Rain devastates local football fixtures

Wat-er weekend! St Francis changing room at half-time during their abandoned match against Seaford in the Peter Bentley Cup. 
Picture by Simon Boddie
Wat-er weekend! St Francis changing room at half-time during their abandoned match against Seaford in the Peter Bentley Cup. Picture by Simon Boddie

Several teams in the Haywards Heath area saw their games abandoned due to terrential rain.

St Francis Rangers and Haywards Heath Town both saw their respective fixtures called off at half-time.

Haywards Heath Town saw their fixture disrupted

Haywards Heath Town saw their fixture disrupted

St Francis Rangers were playing Seaford in the Peter Bentley Cup, while Haywards Heath were drawing 1-1 against Bedfont Sports in the FA Cup.

Speaking afterwards, St Francis Rangers manager Simon Boddie said: “In my humble opinion the referee made the right call, in the interest of player safety and the pitch.

“Yes the storm passed but surface water wasn’t draining so despite everyone’s disappointment I fully endorse the refereeing decision to abandon the match.

“I was pleased with the way we played, albeit we do have to work on our finishing but at least the chances were created.

The tie against Bedfont Sports had to be replayed on Tuesday night

The tie against Bedfont Sports had to be replayed on Tuesday night

“The new squad additions have fitted in well and strengthened us in all areas and we still have five players to return from holiday who will all be in contention.

“There was a lot of hard work, mopping and generally a great effort the committee had the dressing rooms habitable by Sunday lunchtime, and as a massive bonus there was minimal damage inside albeit nature had taken its toll on the hill and surrounding banks.”

St Francis Rangers will now replay the match on Tuesday, August 15 and their full league campaign begins on this Saturday, August 12 at home to Wick.

Meanwhile, Haywards Heath Town had to replay their FA Cup fixture on Tuesday at home to Bedfont Sports which they won 5-2.

Max Miller had put Heath ahead after 20 minutes, muscling his way through the defence to find the bottom corner.

This lead lasted just four minutes as Bedfont found an equaliser with a powerful strike into the top corner.

Just 30 minutes of heavy rainfall before half-time was enough for the referee to abandon the game due to dangerous conditions.

Speaking on Wednesday, after his squad had won the replay 5-2 with two goals by Max Miller, and further strikes by Joel Daly, Jamie Weston and Bailie Rogers.

Heath boss Saunders reflected on having played two matches in a week so early on in a season.

He said: “I don’t think it’s a problem. We will now work to rest and recover before the game at the weekend.

“We didn’t pick up any injuries and came through unscathed and we will be ready to go again on Saturday.”