Soccer: Northcote to return to play out final 30 minutes against Ballarat City

Ladder-leaders Northcote will return to Morshead Park to play out the final 30 minutes of its match against Ballarat City in National Premier League Victoria two west competition.

Griffin Mcmaster of Northcote City expresses his opinions to the referee after the game was abandoned due to fog. Picture: Dylan Burns

Griffin Mcmaster of Northcote City expresses his opinions to the referee after the game was abandoned due to fog. Picture: Dylan Burns

The night game on July 10 was abandoned due to fog at the 60-minute mark with Northcote leading 3-0, and this scoreline will remain in place when play resumes.

Football Federation Victoria heard from both clubs on their preferences on how the game should be finalised, before coming to the decision.

Ballarat City coach Danny Gnjidic told The Courier the club had wanted the game to be replayed in accordance with NPL regulations that recommended the result only stand if at least 80 per cent of the game had been played.

Cartoon: Ditchy

Cartoon: Ditchy

“We didn’t think the game should have recommenced after half-time (when the fog set in), our position was that the third goal was influenced by the conditions,” he said.

“Our defensive players and our goalkeeper couldn’t see the ball when the corner was taken, but I can understand the basis on which the decision was made and we will abide by it.”

The federation has requested the remaining 30 minutes to be played mid-week, with arrangements still to be finalised including the availability of Morshead Park. 

“We will be looking at one night in the middle of the week in the next couple of weeks,” Gnjidic said.

“We’re not over the moon with the determination that the federation has made, but credit to them for making it in an efficient manner and not leaving everyone guessing.”

Ballarat City coaches will now sit down to discuss how to approach less than a half of soccer with the team starting three goals behind, while considering the two games on either side of the fixture.

“It’s a unique situation and we will prepare for it on that basis,” Gnjidic said.

“It is essentially going to replace a training night so how we manage both the boys that are playing and the boys that aren’t… there is plenty to consider.

“We will figure out how we can get some value, whether it means getting some extra game time into some other players or throw caution to the wind and try and reverse a 3-nil result against the best team in the competition inside half an hour.”

Gnjidic said he was glad the matter had been resolved after what was an uncomfortable end to the game.

“We will try and make the best of what is a pretty unique and difficult situation for both clubs,” he said.