March 11 2014 Latest news:
Robin Cottle, Reporter
Thursday, January 16, 2014
It proved to be yet another weekend of frustration for Redbridge, as two games at Oakside fell victim to the weather in the space of 48 hours.
First, Saturday’s Ryman One North clash against Heybridge was postponed, before Monday’s local derby with tenants Barkingside also failed to pass a pitch inspection.
And joint-boss Dave Ross says the ongoing inactivity, which has seen Motormen play just the one match since December 17, is now affecting their promotion push.
“It’s very frustrating,” he said. “On Monday both teams wanted to play, but the rainfall in the afternoon killed us.
“It wasn’t surprising the games were off because we know Oakside isn’t the best at holding water.
“We know we’re not the only ones in the league with this problem, but it doesn’t make it any easier.”
Ross is hoping for more luck this weekend, with Redbridge set to travel to table-toppers VCD Athletic, ahead of a scheduled home meeting with Waltham Abbey on Tuesday.
But he concedes match fitness might be a problem for his players, making what would have been a difficult task even harder.
He said: “Luckily VCD have quite a decent pitch so hopefully we’ll get a game on Saturday. It would be hard enough if we had been playing games, but we will go out there, give it our all, and any points we can pick up will be a bonus.
“It’s difficult to keep the player’s match fitness up as well as their motivation when they’re training with no match at the end of the week.”
As the play-offs continue to disappear further into the distance – there is now a 12-point gap to fifth-placed Heybridge Swifts – fixture congestion will become a real concern as the season progresses.
And Ross, who reckons the one game the Motormen have played in the last month – a 4-1 defeat away at Soham Town Rangers – should have been called off, knows this starts to present a significant challenge for him and joint-boss Ricky Eaton over the remainder of the season.
“The gap is getting bigger and bigger,” he said. “All the teams at the top seem to be winning, but we need to claw back the deficit.
“It is going to be a tall order, but we will take every game as it comes.
“The fixtures are piling up, but all we can do is win the games when we have the chance to play them.”