RED-FACED Spennymoor Town bosses issued an apology after Altrincham's players, officials and supporters were subjected to a wasted five-hour, 270-mile round trip on Tuesday night.

Despite checking the Vanarama National League North fixture was still on before setting off, manager Phil Parkinson and his players arrived at The Brewery Field to find it was in serious doubt, following a pitch inspection by referee Adam Herczeg.

By the time the supporters' coach made it to the ground soon after, the decision had been taken to call the game off, just over an hour before the 7.45pm kick-off.

After undertaking extensive drainage work last summer, Spennymoor were confident the pitch would withstand the downpour and claimed both teams felt it was playable, despite standing water along one touchline.

But, mindful of the inconvenience caused, they published an online apology, laid on free refreshments for the 18 travelling supporters and promised to finance transport for away fans when the game is rearranged.

A statement read: "The club would like to apologise for the inconvenience this has caused both sets of supporters, particularly those who have travelled from Altrincham.

"There was no planned pitch inspection, despite the inclement weather, which the pitch has dealt with several times this season.

"Referee Mr Herczeg called a pitch inspection upon arrival at 17:30. After deliberation, he decided to postpone the game at 18:30 due to a small section of the surface being deemed unplayable.

"Both sets of club officials and players were keen to still play the fixture, but we respect Mr Herczeg’s decision.

"Altrincham supporters were offered complimentary refreshments and beverages. Chief executive Brad Groves has instructed club officials to work with Altrincham FC on his behalf. As a gesture of goodwill, Mr Groves has personally agreed to pay for the Altrincham supporters’ coach for the rearranged fixture."