York City's Ben Davies eager to avoid pitch ‘lottery’ in play-off tie against Fleetwood
Updated 11:58am Monday 12th May 2014 in Sport
York City backroom staff work on the Bootham Crescent pitch in a vain attempt to salvage the Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final first leg tie with Fleetwood Town on Saturday. The game has been rearranged for tonight at 7.45pm
BEN DAVIES is hopeful that tonight’s rearranged Sky Bet League Two play-off, semi-final first leg with Fleetwood will not be decided by a mistake caused by the weather.
The York City left-back felt that the state of the pitch meant referee Carl Boyeson was right to postpone Saturday night’s original match, as the saturated surface could have made conditions a lottery after the club’s season-long efforts to snare a top-seven place.
More heavy showers are forecast prior to tonight's 7.45pm kick off but both teams will try again this evening with Davies keen to avoid similar scenes to the weekend when large pools of water made play dangerous, leading to Boyeson calling the game off in the interests of the safety of the players.
The on-loan Preston full back said: “To be fair, even though it was desperately disappointing, I think the referee had no choice (on Saturday).
“There were puddles lying on the pitch and we have tried all season to get in this position and you don’t want to be let down by somebody slipping or the ball getting stuck in a puddle. That could result in you going behind going into the second leg.”
Davies added that he was pleased the game was rescheduled for tonight rather than on Tuesday – the date preferred by Fleetwood.
“I think it’s better that the game is played as soon as we can and, then, we will get in an extra day before the second leg on Friday,” he reasoned.
Davies admitted that Saturday’s sell-out City crowd for Saturday’s match was also a stirring sight for the teenage defender and he is now relishing a similar turnout 48 hours later.
“The fans came out in their numbers and it was great to see,” he enthused. “I was really looking forward to playing in front of them all, but you can’t control the weather and, sometimes, postponements happen.
“It’s just disappointing that we haven’t had any games called off all season and, then, when it comes to the main one, the weather has let us down a bit, but we have just got to concentrate on tonight now.”
Saturday’s match was postponed at 7.45pm after referee Boyeson had earlier suggested the 7.30pm kick off be delayed by half-an-hour.
Davies went on to reveal that manager Nigel Worthington worked hard to keep the players focussed in the dressing room during that period of uncertainty, saying: “We didn’t really know what to do. We just sat around waiting while the gaffer was doing a good job keeping us calm and we would have been ready.”
Davies is also pleased that this evening's match will be televised live on Sky.
It had initially appeared that City would miss out on a £20,000 windfall due to the game now clashing with Queen's Park Rangers' Championship semi-final, second-leg clash against Wigan.
But the satellite pay-TV company have agreed to broadcast both games on different channels.
On that decision, Davies smiled: "Saturday would have been my first game on Sky and I know a lot of my mates at home were going to watch Preston's game in the afternoon and then York but they will be able to watch tonight instead now."
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