MATCH ABANDONED: Referee calls an end to Ipswich Town v Middlesbrough after just 37 minutes

REFEREE Dean Whitestone – unhappy with frozen areas of the pitch – decided to abandon today’s match between Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough after just 37 minutes.

With Town having enjoyed the better of the goalless opening exchanges – Daryl Murphy hitting the bar – it was decided that areas of the pitch were deemed unsafe by the officials.

The Portman Road pitch was well protected by it’s high-tech tent cover during the week, with the trapped hot air system protecting it from the sub-zero temperatures.

Officials and both managers – Paul Jewell and Tony Mowbray – were present at two pitch inspections leading up to the game, at 11.15am and 2pm, and both times it was deemed playable.

As soon as the covers came off around 1.30pm though, the still freezing temperatures took hold and made shaded areas of the pitch in front of the dugouts rock-solid.

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The linesman on that side was forced to run inside the touchline to avoid the icy ground, while Sonko limped off with a suspected broken rib after falling awkwardly with no players around him.

– More to follow.

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