VAUXHALL Motors fans and officials were left to rue a missed opportunity last night as the club's biggest match of the season fell victim to the weather.
Heavy fog at Rivacre Park meant the Motormen's FA Trophy first round replay against Kidderminster Harriers was postponed two hours before kick-off.
With a sizeable crowd expected, the Ellesmere Port underdogs had been looking forward to a pre-Christmas payday - but the weather intervened and the tie has been provisionally rescheduled for Saturday, January 6.
Vauxhall chairman Alan Bartlam said: 'This is a big disappointment for us and the fans.
'What people don't realise is that it is not simply a night off for us. It is an expense we can ill afford.
'The match officials need to be paid but we can claim that back. But the food was prepared and ready, there were staff at the ground, there are bills as a result that need paying regardless so we are paying for an extra match we never played.
'Add to that we fancied our chances after staging the greatest comeback in FA Trophy history and this cancellation was a major let-down.'
Motors manager Carl Macauley added: 'The lads were up for this. We were clear of injuries and were hoping to use the momentum from the previous tie.
'Confidence was sky-high and we really wanted to get this match played as soon after the original tie as possible.
'But there is nothing we can do, it wasn't meant to be.
'Hopefully, we can steer clear of injuries over Christmas and give ourselves a good chance come January.'
Vauxhall earned a replay with Kidderminster in dramatic fashion, drawing 4-4 at the Conference club's Aggborough Stadium on Saturday (report - page 41).
The winners of the replay face a tough second-round trip to Exeter City on Saturday, January 13.
The next match
FANS wanting to see some festive football in the Port should get down to Rivacre Park on Boxing Day. The Motormen entertain Droylsden, with a 3pm kick-off.