SHOLING have failed to persuade Eastbourne United to switch the first leg of their FA Vase semi-final to a Sunday – because it clashes with Mother’s Day!
The Southampton-based non-leaguers, managed by Davie Diaper, wanted to put their home tie back 24 hours to March 30 because of a clash with Saints’ home Premier League game against Newcastle United.
The FA were happy for the tie to be played on the sabbath, but Eastbourne refused to co-operate.
Secretary Brian Dowling told the Echo: “Well, we’re not keen on playing it on Mother’s Day.
“It’s a family day when people want to be with their families, not at a football match. “I couldn’t predict how many we’d bring down, probably 100 fans, but I’d imagine it would be fewer if it was on the Sunday.
“I asked the manager (Simon Rowland) and he agreed that we’d prefer to keep with the routine of playing on a Saturday. “I don’t want to break out of that [routine], I wake up early on Saturdays and it’s the beginning of football day.
“We all have our routines, and that’s how we’d prefer it to stay. “It wouldn’t be ideal on the Sunday because I want to spend the day with the wife and kids, that’s their day.”
Sholing secretary Greg Dickson said: “We were disappointed Eastbourne didn’t want to play on the Sunday.”
Ironically, the tie could still be switched to Mother’s Day on police advice.
Sholing are due to meet Vase officials next week to discuss police, stewarding and segregation issues for the scheduled March 29 tie.
With Saints home the same day, it is not known how many police Sholing might need for a tie which should attract a near capacity attendance to a Silverlake Arena ground which holds just over 1,000 spectators. Dowling said: “I know there are concerns over the policing of the match on the Saturday because Southampton are at home.
“We’ll just have to wait and see what happens with that.”
One other avenue Sholing could explore if they have to play on the Saturday is an earlier kick off, allowing Saints fans to attend both games if they wanted to.
Sholing’s home tie might also have to be declared an all-ticket match, but the club won’t know that until they have met with FA officials next week.