Via York Press; Selby Town chairman Ralph Pearse, pictured on Saturday after Lincoln Moorlands Railway called off the game.
The Selby Town Boss Dave Ricardo branded Lincoln Moorlands Railway a “disgrace” after alleging they forced the cancellation of a game because their players “refused to travel”.
The Robins will be making the return journey to Lincolnshire tomorrow and Ricardo is still fuming following the abandonment of last Saturday’s Northern Counties East League first division clash at Flaxley Road.
Ricardo claimed Lincoln contacted Selby club chairman Ralph Pearse at 11.20am on the morning of the match to “say they had ten players that were refusing to travel”.
The Selby boss, who claimed he had never experienced a similar situation at such a high level of football before, argued the late decision cost the club a lot of money - with food prepared and a big festive crowd expected to watch the game.
“It was really disappointing,”
Ricardo said. “We had a full squad which, at this time of year, is a massive advantage. If they were struggling to come here they should have told us the night before.
“To find out at 11.20am, when players are starting to travel, is unheard of at this level. I have never known a fixture to be cancelled due to these reasons. I have had games with nine players for half an hour. This season we had only 12 players against Teversal and Knaresborough.
It is very shocking considering the weather this winter has been very mild without any heavy snow. We did not expect this to happen.
“It starts a precedent if teams are doing this. This was going to be one of our bumper attendances. We were expecting 150 people. All the food had been purchased, all the pumps had been on.
“This was a big earner for the club and, on the pitch, we were hoping for three points. I would rather they said ‘we’ve got six injured, four away and three suspended’ rather than the excuse that players were refusing to travel.
If that’s the case, you shouldn’t be in the league.”
Colin Edwards, Lincoln Moorlands Railway chairman, said: “It is regrettable at the end of the day. He is entitled to his opinion.
“We are talking to the league and, at the moment, we are not going to comment. It is down to the league.”
Ricardo admitted the furore would bring extra spice to tomorrow’s trip - a game he believes his team must win if they are going to have any chance of starting to bridge the gap to the league’s pacesetters.
He added: “We have got two or three hard fixtures coming up. It’s going to be a tricky game.”
Richard Medcalf is back from suspension for Selby, but Jamie Forrester is struggling with a hamstring injury. Andy Jackson is also fighting for a first team spot.