BILLERICAY owner Grant Gordon was highly critical of the match referee for calling off their home game with Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday.

A pitch inspection by a locally-based linesman at 2.15pm had given the Conference South game the green light, but the match referee deemed the surface unplayable a little over an hour before kick-off.

Gordon said: “We had a linesman who’s officiated in the Premier League saying the pitch was playable barring any major deterioration in the weather at 2.15pm.

“Then the referee arrived from Lowestoft and said he was concerned about a wet patch and called it off.

“We can understand decisions being made for players’ safety, but we felt it was fine and we can’t understand why the original decision was over-turned.”

A number of Eastbourne supporters had travelled to the 7.45pm game only to be told they had made a wasted journey at 6.30pm.

It was the second time in four days a game at New Lodge had been postponed because of the weather, after the freezing conditions forced the cancellation of Sutton’s visit on Saturday.

Gordon said: “We are disappointed with the decision over the Eastbourne game because it is another payday missed.

“And there was also a terrific effort from volunteers to get our pitch ready on the weekend, some of them were here until 10pm at night, so this is a real kick in the teeth for them too.”

Gordon said he felt the pitch at New Lodge was perfectly playable yesterday afternoon, but added concerns that a forecast heavy downpour today could put Saturday’s scheduled visit of Boreham Wood in doubt.

He said: “We plan to cover some of the softer areas with tarpaulin but as always seems to be the case at the moment we’ll just have to see what happens with the weather.”