Programme Editor David Bloomfield recalls a frozen afternoon at Underhill
My journey to Underhill takes me through Epping Forest and on Saturday a cross-country running club were busy putting out markers and organising marshals for a race they were staging later that day.
As the snow was coming down, how fortunate I thought these sportsmen and women were that however inclement the weather their fixture would go ahead no matter what.
It was a surprise to many that Underhill was given the green light at 11.15am on Saturday and even then it was only possible due the mighty efforts of the supporters in getting the snow off the pitch.
The consensus was that with the gloomy forecast surely the pitch would cut up terribly and quickly become unplayable. And I myself was in this focus group. But did the referee actually get it right?
Very rarely did the ball not run true and is it for the referee to concern himself about the state of the pitch at the end of the match rather than how it plays for the 90 minutes?
We did not witness a farce. The game was able to flow, headers, tackles and passes were made without there needing to be overdue consideration for the conditions.
Groundsman Barry Moggridge and his team now have a mammoth task on their hands to bring the pitch up to the standards that has seen the Underhill playing surface be so highly regarded.
The BBC’s Football League Show who used Underhill as a backdrop to host their programme were somewhat dismissive of the match action, a little unfairly I think. Although clearly not a classic both teams were going for a win, had good efforts on goal and in the last ten minutes were really going at each other hammer and tong.
Over to Barry and his band now to get the pitch ready for the Good Friday fixture against Dagenham & Redbridge.