With their top flight fixture at home to leaders Altrincham at the Marine Travel Arena looking in serious doubt after heavy downpours on Christmas Day left the pitch saturated with standing water visible in many areas, twenty fans answered an early morning SOS on social media from Mariners officials to lend a hand and help the club pass the second of two pitch inspections.
Mariners secretary Richard Cross led the praise for the volunteers who spent nearly four hours clearing nearly 2,400 litres of standing water and sanding the worst affected areas before match officials finally gave the EVO-STIK League Premier Division fixture the green light at 1.15pm after spending 30 minutes at the ground inspecting their work.
The Mariners last played at home in the top flight on Saturday 14 October when they hosted Matlock Town and Cross said the supporters deserved all the plaudits they'd received despite their hard work paving the way what turned out to be a festive defeat.
Mariners chairman Paul Leary keeping his feet dry as he pitches in
Cross said: "If it wasn’t for the hard work of the volunteers which included the chairman, vice-chairman, committee, supporters and matchday helpers who spent a solid five hours working on the ground, the game would not have gone ahead. Despite losing 3-0 at home to one of the best teams in the Premier Division, the club are indebted to their help, assistance and sheer hard work which meant the game could go ahead."
The Mariners secretary, who's hoping to see a home win in their final outing of 2017 on Saturday when Tommy Lawson's side host Stourbridge, added: "The club has received a lot of interest on social media from the pictures and videos of the day in addition to many kind words, emails and letters from Altrincham FC. Thank you again to everyone."
Images courtesy of @MarineAFC/Twitter
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Much of the surface was under water and unplayable at 9am