THE Rocks may have had problems in their midfield engine room this season – but who expected this to be the solution?
In fact this novel method of thawing frozen shaded areas of the Nyewood Lane pitch on Saturday proved the perfect way - and probably the only way - to enable the game with Merstham to go ahead and get the Rocks motoring to another win.
Sheets of tarpaulin and a gas heater were also placed along the main stand side of the surface in a desperate attempt to satisfy the referee the pitch was safe to play on.
The grand effort paid off and the Rocks’ game was one of only two in the division to go ahead.
Joint manager Darin Killpartrick put out a message to everyone who helped get the game on. He said: “Thank you so much for the dedication involved in getting the game on – particularly the ground staff, but all involved in working for hours during the morning to get the stand side playable.
“Also, thanks to all the fans who turned out in the bitter cold, even after the ‘are we/aren’t we playing?’ scenario that went on beyond 2pm.”
Club secretary Simon Cook, who said: “We always felt confident of getting the match on thanks to the sunshine bathing 98 per cent of the pitch, despite the pitch being like iron at 9am.
“However the small shaded areas were potentially a problem and it was only because of the initiative someone showed in positioning seven or eight cars with their engines running, as well as a gas heater with tarpaulins, over the worst areas that we were eventually able to get the referee to agree to go ahead.
“Thanks must go also to Mr Beavis, the referee, for giving the game every opportunity and to both teams who I thought used great common sense on what was still a tricky pitch.”
Avoiding a fixture pile-up could be crucial to the Rocks’ promotion hopes.
At present they have only one midweek game scheduled – but second-placed Dulwich have two.