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Bolton fan travels 8,000 miles to see game at Cambridge get abandoned after just 8 minutes

A committed Bolton fan travels 8,000 miles to see game at Cambridge get abandoned after just 8 minutes played on Tuesday night.

Supporter Andy Bebbington suffered the unfortunate turn of events occurred during his visit all the way from China for the away fixture at Cambridge United on Tuesday only for heavy rainfall to leave the pitch waterlogged.

Andy had planned this trip during the extended two-week break for Chinese New Year, hoping to create a new memory as Bolton have been performing well in League One and looking to get promoted.

However, his expectations were shattered when referee David Rock halted the match with a score of 0-0, ultimately deciding to call off the game after a 16-minute delay.

Andy Bebbington

He told BBC Radio Manchester: “I’ve been teaching English in China for the past five years and this time of the year is Chinese New Year, so you get two weeks off.

“I just looked at the fixture list and this game pops up and I thought, Cambridge in February, what can go wrong? And then it turns out everything can go wrong.

“It’s just my luck, to be honest, I feel. But like I said, worse things can happen. Definitely.”

Interviewer: “So what did you do instead?”

Fan: “I mean, look, we stayed over the night, so we found a little pub. If I said we drowned our sorrows, that’d be a bit of an understatement, I think.”

Interviewer: “Because I’ve got written here that you’ve agreed to speak to us despite the jet lag. It should really read. Despite the hangover.”

Fan: “Exactly. It’s a bit of both, which is making situation a little bit worse, to be honest. But, yes, I flew in late last week and, yeah, I mean, I don’t know what my name is, what day is or anything, but, yeah, with soldier on, definitely.”

Bolton manager Ian Evatt said on the abandonment: “It’s not ideal. It’s not ideal for either team. We’ve got a very congested fixture list and this will add to that, but there’s no way my team could play on that.

“We wanted to play, but player safety and welfare has to come first and it became unsafe. I have no issues with it. I think the referee probably made the right decision starting, especially with our fans who were wonderful again travelling this distance on a night like this.

“They will be extremely disappointed and that’s why we wanted to go over to them. It means the world to us that they’re there with this and we’re together. Thank-you to them and, unfortunately, we will have to make this journey once more.”

Bolton, in 3rd, are five points behind Pompey and one behind Derby with Evatt now backing his players to handle the fixture backlog to sustain their promotion challenge, which will now continue at Northampton Town on Saturday.

“We’ve got a really good squad of players that I think is capable of managing this congestion,” added the Wanderers’ boss. “I’ve said all along that to achieve anything this season we’ve got to do it the hard way and we’re going have to earn it and this is no different.

“We just can’t lose our focus. Things happen in football that you can’t control. We can’t control this tonight and we will just re-focus ready for Saturday.”

Cambridge United said via their website: “Due to tonight’s extreme weather, the referee has abandoned tonight’s game against Bolton Wanderers due to a waterlogged pitch…

“The Club apologises for the inconvenience caused and thanks the supporters of both teams who travelled to the game.

“All tickets purchased for the original fixture will remain valid, although if supporters wish to request a refund, they can do so by emailing info@cambridgeunited.com once the rearranged date has been confirmed.

“Supporters who bought an iFollow Match Pass for the game will automatically have streaming access for the revised fixture, however, if they wish to request a refund they can do by emailing ifollow@efl.com.

“More information on the rescheduled date will be confirmed in due course.”

Cambridge boss Neil Harris, as per The Bolton News: “(We are) disappointed and frustrated because we are in a good place and were looking forward to it.

“The first eight minutes, I think one thing was guaranteed – it wasn’t going to be 0-0! We attacked the game, the same as Bolton did.

“The only thing I will say is that it’s not in our control. It is the same as Stevenage away with the floodlights, we can’t control that.

“Obviously, the frustration is that we have put a lot of work into that. I have put a lot of time into this and so have the staff – Saturday night, Sunday and Monday as well and then you lose the game. We have got to repeat that at some stage.

“It was right to start the game, the pitch was fine. It deteriorated very quickly and the ref has made the right decision to abandon it. I am fine with it.”

The pitch looked in good condition during the warm-ups, but things changed quickly due to the torrential weather.

“It caught me by surprise because I didn’t expect us to lose the game just because of the rain, but I shouldn’t be because I have seen the training ground over the last couple of months – what pitches are like generally,” Harris continued.

“It is difficult but having seen it in the warm-up and at the start of the game, I thought we were fine. It deteriorated quickly but we can’t control it, so no complaints.”

Twitter users reacted after hearing that a Bolton fan travels 8,000 miles to see a game at Cambridge only for it to get abandoned after just 8 minutes…

@jerryfroggett: I feel for you Andy. If it is any consolation, #Cambridge is often one of the driest places in the country! I’m still drying out after the soaking walking to and from the Abbey to the car…

@Papillion1983: Puts my 7 hour 400 mile round trip for 9 minutes of football firmly into perspective

@BrandonBWFC2022: Fair play mate. There’s me whinging on a coach journey

@shakerdaz: Ouch

@Jackvbwfc5: Ah bro that’s brutal 😭😭😭

@ColBwfc: Absolutely devastating. 😫

@BWFCzakk: I’m pissed off after travelling 600 miles never fucking mind 8000, I feel so sorry for you!

@BigJ1882_: Fair play Andy proper supporter 👏🏼

@bigmalc1959: Bloody Nora 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 🙃 #BWFC

@samn077: Absolutely superb

@durhamchris1983: 8,000 miles to an abandoned game… ouch

@AaronRudd29: Thats heartbreaking mate

@carabini_10: I feel less bad now about travelling from Dublin to Walsall 😂

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