Change of venue still cannot save Vase tie

Former Brake Chris Murphy has signed for Southam on a dual registration form.
Former Brake Chris Murphy has signed for Southam on a dual registration form.

Southam United manager Lee Knibbs and his squad had to sit out a third week when the latest attempt to stage the club’s FA Carlsberg Vase second round tie against Long Eaton United came unstuck on Tuesday, writes David Hucker.

With Saints’ Banbury Road pitch still waterlogged in places, the Football Association had sanctioned a change of venue to Coventry Copsewood’s Allard Way ground, but heavy overnight rain on Monday had left standing water, forcing another abandonment.

Ironically, Saints were due to play a Coventry Telegraph Challenge Cup tie at Copsewood last Saturday, but this was called off in the morning.

Instead, the club played a friendly with Stratford Town Reserves at Southam College for some much-needed match practice.

Tomorrow, Saints are away to Littleton in the quarter-final of the Les James Memorial Challenge Cup.

After a bright start to the season when they led the Athium Midland Combination Premier Division table, Littleton have slipped of late and lost 1-0 at Pelsall Villa last weekend.

However, they beat Saints 3-0 at Banbury Road last August and Knibbs’ team will go out with a point to prove.

Still missing through injury for Saints are Ash Buswell, Luke Church, Chris Hayden and Ryan Lynch, but Knibbs is hoping to complete the signing of former Brakes midfielder Chris Murphy from Stratford Town on a dual registration.

“Chris is a player that I have admired for a long time and I am glad to have him on board,” said Knibbs.

“Littleton have gone through a sticky patch after a good start to the season, but we know we still have to go there and do well.”

“After our lay-off, we need to concentrate and get back into the routine of playing matches.

“We did gym work on Tuesday and full training last night and the lads are itching to get going again.”

With the third round of the FA Vase coming up on December 8, Saints are running out of time but, weather permitting, the match against Long Eaton will be played on Tuesday.