Manager Ian Evatt paid tribute to the travelling fans who endured a wasted journey to Cambridge after Wanderers’ game at The Abbey Stadium was washed out, writes Pete Oliver.
Tuesday night's fixture was abandoned after just nine minutes play following heavy rain which saturated the playing surface and caused standing water almost immediately after kick-off.
With the ball not rolling, referee David Rock spoke to both managers and took the players off and following a short delay and another quick inspection of the pitch called the game off.
Evatt and his players then went out again to thank the Whites’ fans – many of whom will have made a 400-mile round trip and will face the same again if they are able to follow Wanderers when the fixture is re-scheduled.
“It's not ideal. It's not ideal for either team. We've got a very congested fixture list and this will add to that, but there's no way my team could play on that,” said Evatt.
“We wanted to play, but player safety and welfare has to come first and it became unsafe. I have no issues with it. I think the referee probably made the right decision starting, especially with our fans who were wonderful again travelling this distance on a night like this.
“They will be extremely disappointed and that's why we wanted to go over to them. It means the world to us that they’re there with this and we're together. Thank-you to them and, unfortunately, we will have to make this journey once more.”
A date for the re-arranged game will be confirmed in due course, with Wanderers running out of free mid-weeks in the final months of the season.
The abandonment means Evatt’s men still have three games in hand on leaders Portsmouth and two on both Derby County and Peterborough – who lost 2-1 at Exeter City on Tuesday night.
The third-placed Whites are five points behind Pompey and one behind Derby and Evatt is backing his players to handle the fixture backlog to sustain their promotion challenge, which will now continue at Northampton Town on Saturday.
“We've got a really good squad of players that I think is capable of managing this congestion,” added the Wanderers’ boss. “I've said all along that to achieve anything this season we've got to do it the hard way and we’re going have to earn it and this is no different.
“We just can't lose our focus. Things happen in football that you can't control. We can't control this tonight and we will just re-focus ready for Saturday.”