Express & Star

Walsall boss Mat Sadler left furious over 'disgraceful' late Alfreton FA Cup postponement - and states reason why

Mat Sadler says it is a "disgrace" that Walsall's FA Cup second round tie at Alfreton Town wasn't called off earlier.

Mat Sadler has labelled the late call a disgrace

The stadium was at almost full attendance, and the Walsall fans had packed into the visiting section, when the decision was made five minutes before kick-off.

Alfreton had covered the pitch in the build-up to the game to safeguard it from the icy weather conditions, and the referee initially deemed the surface playable upon first inspection.

However, it quickly became apparent that the pitch was frozen, and it was eventually was adjudged to be unsafe, as a frustrated crowd made their way for the exit.

Sadler was disappointed by the situation, which he believes could've been completely avoidable.

"The referee initially saw it and assessed it, and he said, he felt it was playable when he first assessed it, whatever that time was," Sadler revealed.

"And then we waited and waited until about 15 minutes before kick-off. He (the referee) came out a lot later than he usually would've done.

"It wasn't safe to play. We waited far too long if I am honest because people could've turned around quite early. Common sense prevailed, it just took a long time to get there."

The match was set to be broadcast live on BBC, which Sadler felt played a part in the push for the game to go ahead.

And he argued that it showed a lack of consideration to the supporters that made the journey to Derbyshire.

"Let's all be honest about why the game was on. If the cameras weren't here, the game would've been called off a long time ago. But we tried to get it going because of that and we couldn't.

"I think it's a disgrace that they've had to travel this far on a day when the game was clearly going to be called off.

"I get that they left the covers on so they gave it as much chance as possible but as soon as they came off, and they were off when I got here an hour and 45 minutes before kick-off, it was hard in areas, and it should've been called off earlier because it would've saved the supporters the journey."