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Dover Athletic's National League home match against Notts County called off


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Dover's scheduled National League game against Notts County on Saturday was called off, hours before kick-off.

With persistent rain coming down throughout the day, the decision was made at Crabble by the referee at around 1pm.

Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler had been due to miss their match against Notts County on Saturday - but it was postponed anyway. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler had been due to miss their match against Notts County on Saturday - but it was postponed anyway. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Dover said on Twitter: "GAME OFF: The referee has decided the pitch is unplayable and, with further rain forecast, has called the game off."

Meanwhile Notts County fumed: "Despite receiving no warning whatsoever of a pitch inspection or the match being in doubt, the referee has arrived at the stadium and called the game off - stating the pitch is totally unplayable.

"We can only apologise to supporters who have made another wasted journey."

Dover chairman Jim Parmenter gave his thoughts on the referee's decision to not give the match the go-ahead.

He told the club website: "Really disappointing. I don't know exactly why the referee has made that decision!

Dover chairman Jim Parmenter. Picture: Tony Flashman
Dover chairman Jim Parmenter. Picture: Tony Flashman

"The pitch is firm, there's no standing water.

"He said he's done it for the welfare of the players - well, I don't know what they are used to playing on these days, but the pitch was much worse when we played Dagenham.

"I think it's the wrong decision. I believe he is a new referee, so maybe he is not that experienced.

"But the game could have, easily, gone ahead (so I'm) very disappointed in the decision."

Several fans had made the trip to watch the game - only to be left disappointed with the match postponed.

Parmenter added: "I was here from 10am this morning and the pitch was great. There was very light rain, and the pitch was perfect for playing.

"The rain got a bit heavier at about 11.30am or 12 o'clock.

"The referee arrived at about quarter to one and decided that, because the weather forecast was that it was going to continue to rain this afternoon, he was going to call the game off.

"He has called it off, in my opinion, based on the view of the weather forecast, rather than the actual state of the pitch because the pitch is clearly playable."

Whites assistant Nicky Southall had been due to take charge of the side, with boss Andy Hessenthaler having tested positive for Covid-19.

Hessenthaler had also missed training on Thursday, and is now isolating.

Dover's next match is at Wealdstone next weekend.

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