Morpeth Town release statement disputing some of South Shields' claims over Vase controversy

Morpeth Town have responded to the controversial abandonment of their FA Vase game against South Shields by releasing a statement which refutes some of the claims made by the Mariners.

Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 1:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 1:16 pm
The lights went out at South Shields on Saturday

Morpeth were leading 4-2 on Saturday when there was a floodlight failure at Mariners Park with just eight minutes of normal time remaining.

The game was unable to be restarted, and the FA ruled yesterday that it must be replayed tomorrow to the obvious disappointment of Morpeth, especially with South Shields being down to 10 men following the sending off of Julio Arca.

The Mariners last night released a statement in which they sought to clarify the chain of events during and after the floodlights went out.

However, Morpeth have released their own statement today in which they dispute some of Shields' version of events

Morpeth Town club statement:

"Following the abandonment of the FA Vase match between South Shields and Morpeth Town the club has kept its own counsel with dignity, despite it being such a massive disappointment to all the players, fans and officials as to the circumstances.

"Let us state at this stage that Morpeth Town have enormous respect for all the good people behind the scenes at South Shields, and its wonderful supporters who back the club so amicably and help make it the huge success story it is.

"We feel, however it very important to let everyone know what our versions of the facts are, not only to make it clear to all what happened, but to create a position where lessons can be learnt in order such incidents do not reoccur.

"South Shields have, up until now, relied upon a diesel driven engine which drives a generator thereby creating electricity for the club.

"On Saturday the generator did not catastrophically fail, it was the engine driving the generator that was starved of diesel either by a break in the fuel lines or a blockage in the system. In the case of Saturday, any blockage or air lock would almost certainly have been in the area of the filters (borne out by historical data at South Shields). When the fuel failed to reach the compression area of the engine it came to a natural halt, the generator then stopped working and the lights went out. This was confirmed by the Morpeth electrical mechanical engineers who were present.

"To compound the problem of fuel starvation, the batteries had gone flat after multiple attempts to start the engine when under full load and still connected to the live system. It is normal practise when restarting a diesel engine to isolate the load and then start the generator in a stabilized condition. This situation was rectified by the engineers but by this time, the battery was too flat to operate with no back-up batteries it did not allow the engineers time to rectify the problem.

"It is unfortunate that procedures at South Shields had not been followed as in a number of previous instances, such as against Willington FC. In near identical circumstances, they managed to diagnose and fix the problem by bleeding the system within a 40 minutes timeframe.

"We would like to thank and apologise to all of our fans who attended the match on Saturday, and urge them to get behind the team again on Wednesday evening in our attempt to reach the fifth round of the competition."