1874 NORTHWICH insist they did everything possible to play an FA Vase tie on Saturday after their opponents suggested a postponement could have been avoided.

They will instead host Tow Law Town, a Northern League second division club based in Bishop Auckland, at St Luke’s Barton Stadium tomorrow, kick-off 7.45pm.

The visitors wanted the rearranged game to be scheduled for next weekend, but organisers insisted on a midweek rerun to comply with the competition’s rules.

“We were very surprised to hear that Saturday’s game was off,” said Steve Moralee, secretary at Tow Law.

“Our manager was already in the area and popped into the ground, and he said the problem could easily have been resolved with a couple of bags of sand.

“We were annoyed because other games in that area went ahead the afternoon.”

Some players and officials had travelled to Cheshire on Friday and stayed overnight.

However the second-round tie was called off early the following morning after an official that lives nearby checked the playing surface.

“He spoke to the match referee and an FA official, and they both backed his decision,” said 1874 secretary Vicki England.

“While disappointed, the Tow Law staff that came to the ground could see for themselves that there was a problem and that we’d tried our best.”

She told the Guardian 1874 had also supported a plea by their opponents to the FA that the game be rescheduled for the following Saturday.

However the governing body, aware that Tow Law had initially requested a midweek replay, declined.

FA Vase regulations also make clear that postponed matches should take place before Thursday in the same week.

England added: “It’s frustrating for us too; a lot of effort and some expense had gone into preparing for the game.

“We appreciate a midweek fixture means that some supporters, of both clubs, won’t be able to attend.

“That’s regrettable, but out of our control.”

If Tuesday’s game ends in a draw after 90 minutes, then extra time will follow.

Should the outcome still not be decided, a replay has been planned for next Tuesday, November 21.

If tomorrow’s game is postponed again, the FA will decide a new date.

Meanwhile a North West Counties League fixture at the ground tonight, between Winsford United and Maine Road, has been postponed.