How baked beans stopped play in this football match

Baked Beans

Football matches have been delayed for all sorts of reasons, but rarely due to the nation's favourite snack. As Ebbsfleet United and Barrow suffered this week.

You may know Conference side Ebbsfleet United for being the club owned by the fans; or more specifically by the fans’ website MyFootballClub.

When the scheme was announced back in 2008, the headline news was that members would be given a say on ticket prices, transfer fees and even team selection. Although the last of these has never come about as, in a rare example of common sense in football, the fans have always given sole control to manager Liam Daish.

If you didn’t know them for that, you may know them by their former name of Gravesend and Northfleet, whose second-most glorious day was an FA Cup third round trip to Aston Villa back in 1996. The fact they lost 3-0 said nothing of their efforts or, for long periods, Villa’s toil.

While their most glorious day was some 34 years earlier, in 1962, when they held Sunderland to a draw in the FA Cup fourth round before succumbing in the replay.

But if you don’t know them for any of those reasons, there is one more.

On Wednesday, their match away to Barrow was delayed for 90 minutes due to a baked bean spillage.

Matches have been postponed and delayed for all sorts of reasons, but I think that is my favourite.

Having set out around 11:00am from Kent, Daish’s team didn’t arrive in Cumbria until almost 10 hours later, after a lorry shed its load of baked beans on the M6.

Daish wouldn’t have been happy with either the result or the circumstances. As he arrived home more than 24 hours after setting out, while the 1-1 draw left his side 10 points from safety with just six games to play.

The only ray of hope is that they have two games in hand over the three teams directly above them, Barrow included.

But even in the face of almost inevitable relegation, and having suffered a day to forget at the hands of one of the nation’s favourite meals, he still saw the funny side.

“I’m not full of beans at the moment,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

He is lucky three of their next four games are at home.

Do you know of any other strange reasons for games to be delayed or postponed?

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