Canterbury City’s home game with Whyteleafe in Southern Counties East League Premier Division postponed after burgundy kit clash
A bag of kit is handed to the Whytleafe team at Winches Field in the hope of starting the game with Canterbury on Saturday. Picture: Chris Davey
Canterbury City’s home game with Whyteleafe on Saturday afternoon had to be postponed by the referee after the visitors arrived with an identical kit to the home team.
Southern Counties East League Premier Division side City play in all burgundy, but an administrative slip from the Surrey side meant Leafe arrived at Winch’s Field, City’s temporary home at Herne Bay FC, with their maroon away kit.
The visitors – who normally play in green shirts and white shorts – made referee Darren Keating and City officials aware of the clash before the 3pm kick-off.
City contacted landlords Herne Bay, who were playing away at Crawley Down Gatwick, to ask permission for Leafe to borrow a Bay kit, but despite receiving the go-ahead, they could not gain access to the locked kit room.
The Whytleafe team do a quick change on the pitch at Winches Field in the hope of starting the game with Canterbury on Saturday. Picture: Chris Davey
Leafe official John Fowler headed to Margate in search of an alternative kit, however he was against the clock due to a scheduled private function in the Winch’s Field clubhouse at 6pm.
Mr Keating put kick-off back to 3.30pm – which allowed just enough time for the game to take place before 6pm - but despite the kit being delivered to the ground before the cut-off, the players did not have time to warm-up, leading the referee to postpone the game due to the potential for injury to under-prepared players.
City chairman Tim Clark said the club were ‘disappointed’ the game could not go ahead but added: “We respect the decision. It was an unfortunate situation but these things happen, we’re all human.”
Referee Darren Keating explains the situation to a spectator after the match was called off at Winches Field on Saturday. Picture: Chris Davey
A statement on the club's twitter page said: "The decision to abandon the game was that of the match officials. We tried to locate another kit and/or play in bibs etc. We have played home games in burgundy since 2007. We have not even thought anything about 'gaining' points from this situation.
"As was stated at the time this was human error. All parties tried to resolve it but were unable given the time restraints."
The game only went ahead after a 10am pitch inspection following heavy rain in Herne Bay.
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