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Steeton and Oxenhope line up contingency plans to ensure County Cup tie gets played
Steeton's pitch was deemed unplayable last week - meaning their clash with Oxenhope was postponed for the fourth time
Steeton and Oxenhope have been told they must have back-up plans to get their West Riding County FA Challenge Cup tie on this Saturday.
Their much-delayed fourth-round clash was postponed for a fourth time last week due to a waterlogged pitch at Summerhill Lane.
The eagerly-anticipated derby is the only last-16 game to be completed, with one quarter-final having also already taken place.
Hopes are high that the rival clash will finally get the green light at Steeton’s ground on Saturday (1pm) but Chevrons boss Roy Mason said contingency plans would be in place if more bad weather prevents them from staging it.
“Everybody is massively hopeful that the game will go ahead at our ground on Saturday,” said Mason.
“We have invested quite a bit of money in getting the pitch spiked and sanded.
"It was pretty touch and go last week and we were pretty close to getting it on."
A drier start to the week has encouraged hopes but more rain fell yesterday and forecasts remain mixed.
Mason said the club had been told by the county FA to look at other options to ensure the tie is finally played but hopes to avoid playing on an artificial surface.
Switching the game to Oxenhope's regular pitch at Marley would be the first alternative.
The Steeton boss said: “Ideally it will be on grass. The ball doesn’t have the same bounce on an artificial pitch and you tend to have to nick the ball in the tackle. There could be safety concerns if it is a full-blooded derby.
“If the weather did take a turn for the worse then that (an artificial pitch) might be the only option.
“But we are really hopeful we can get the game on at Steeton.”
“We’ve had some flak from certain quarters in not getting the game on but massive credit is due to our groundstaff for working overtime to try and get it on.
“I just hope the momentum of the tie is not lost and we can attract a big crowd.”
If an artificial pitch is needed, either University Academy Keighley or Marley would be the likely venue. Steeton played Barnoldswick at the former and Oxenhope took on Silsden at the latter in friendlies last week as clubs looked to keep their squads active.
Mason added that updates will be on the club's social media sites on the day to confirm where the match will be played.
Silsden Reserves are due to try again in their County Cup quarter-final at West Riding Ovenden on Saturday after their match was posponed last week.
Silsden first team are due to visit Runcorn Town at the weekend after their home match was washed out versus Abbey Hey.
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