Red Devils' NPLV debut match abandoned

BALLARAT Red Devils manager James Robinson remained philosophical after his sides National Premier League Victoria season opener against Bentleigh Greens was called off due to poor lighting and thunderstorms tonight.

In a massive anti-climax, one of the most eagerly anticipated matches in the Reds history was cancelled when lightning damaged the floodlights at the Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.

With the lights on one half of the ground not working and heavy rain pouring down, referees declared the match abandoned about 7.20pm, 20 minutes after it was due to start.

Earlier, the under-20s match was also called off late in the second half, with Ballarat trailing 2-0.

Speaking after the game had been called off, Robinson said it was frustrating in that his side was desperate to start its season.

However, he did not feel the abandonment actually came as a blessing in disguise, given three key players (Robinson, English recruit Danny O’Donnell and midfielder Dane Milovanovic) were all going to be out of action.

“The anticipation had been built up and the boys just wanted to get out there and gauge where we are at,” said Robinson, who is currently battling a knee injury.

“Theres nothing you can do, you can’t control it so there’s no point worrying about it.”

Upon learning the match was cancelled, Robinson had his side back on the pitch for a fitness session, while their opponents retreated back to the change rooms.

“We have to keep moving forward and improving, we don’t want to lose our fitness,” he said.

“We last trained on Thursday so if you wait until Monday, that’s three or four days without a run.

“All you can do is react to what happens and react in a positive way.”

The match has been rescheduled to Saturday, August 30.