The OxyShot from Charterhouse Turf Machinery has been hailed a saviour for FC United of Manchester, enabling a fixture to be played just 48 hours after the pitch was deemed to be unplayable.
The relentless heavy rainfall in February meant that many Grounds Managers, including Graham Byrne, were unable to conduct any decompaction work which left the club with no option but to cancel valuable fixtures. One visit from local contractors Bancroft Amenities Limited and their OxyShot air injection unit saw things swiftly back on track.
“I was aware of one particular area, a goal mouth, that was displaying signs of reduced drainage capacity for some time” explain Graham, who has overseen the pitch at Broadhurst Park since it opened five years ago. “In a normal season, we would call on Bancroft’s to come in and conduct some aeration work to relieve this compaction and improve drainage – but the weather has meant this isn’t a normal season! The ground has been too wet and soft to get anything onto the pitch.”
The OxyShot being small and lightweight was able to be used, with the tractor and compressor, left on the side–lines. “Bancroft’s came in shortly after Storm Ciara in February with the OxyShot, which effectively shattered the compaction to improve the drainage down through the profile. There’s no denying that if we had not brought the OxyShot in, the game would have been postponed and that would have been critical income that we as a non-league club just cannot afford to lose.”
Graham says, “Since the OxyShot work was conducted, we’ve noticed the ground in the affected area to be firmer and surface water is no longer gathering. It’s an outstanding machine, and we must say thank you again to Bancroft’s for their help in our hour of need.”
The OxyShot is ideal for ‘on-the-spot’ treatment of compaction, in a variety of situations from walkways, touchlines and arboricultural operations. It uses a single 25mm probe to inject air into the soil in four directions, at a pressure of up to 110psi and to a maximum depth of 500mm (20”). It can also be fitted with an optional 14mm probe, to reduce the working depth to 250mm.