JOSH Jeffries was left to rue a “needless” visit to Tiverton Town after Frome Town’s Boxing Day encounter was abandoned soon after half-time.

The Robins were 2-0 up in Devon thanks to Ollie Knight’s opener and a sublime 30-yard lob from Jon Davies when the referee called an early halt to proceedings just as the second period began.

The Ladysmead pitch had survived a 9.30am inspection by a local official but the heavy rain that was forecast for the afternoon duly arrived ahead of kick-off.

Having endured a wasted three-hour round trip on a festive bank holiday, Jeffries felt common sense should have prevailed far sooner.

“I’ve got no issue with the ref because it was the right thing for him to do,” said Jeffries. “But the game should never have been on in the first place.

“It’s a big commitment for the players to make, especially at Christmas, and people should have been allowed to spend the day with their families. Jon Davies has a two-day-old baby and it was my little one’s birthday as well.

“We had a core of supporters who made the trip and I also feel sorry for the Tiverton fans who have turned out for no result, ultimately.”

Frome appeared set for a victory that would have seen them round off their 2017 fixtures in eighth place in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier table.

Jeffries said: “We were very good in the first half and, naturally, their management and players were asking for the game to be called off.

“Of course, my point of view was ‘right, we’re here now so let’s get on with it’. It would have been a good end to the year but it wasn’t to be.”

Jeffries hopes Connor Roberts will be eligible to play when Frome entertain Merthyr Town on New Year’s Day but fears the game may arrive too soon for George Miller, who has a calf injury.

Merthyr suffered a mass player exodus after hitting financial trouble in November and were thrashed 13-1 by Chesham United but appear to have regrouped since and held high-flying Hereford to a 0-0 draw on Saturday.

Jeffries said: “It’s always a tough game against them and this one won’t be any different. They seem to be getting back to where they were.”