U's Tranmere clash frozen out

REFEREE Gavin Ward conducted two pitch inspections before calling off Colchester United's scheduled home match against Tranmere Rovers this afternoon.

Carl Marston

REFEREE Gavin Ward conducted two pitch inspections before calling off Colchester United's scheduled home match against Tranmere Rovers this afternoon.

Mr Ward initially had a look at the Community Stadium pitch at midday, and again at 1pm. He delayed his final decision until Tranmere's representatives arrived at the ground.

The pitch was frozen in parts, which caused the postponement, with temperatures set to drop below freezing again during the afternoon. The decision was announced at 1.40pm.


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Mr Ward, of Surrey, confirmed: “I had a first look at midday, but only half the pitch had thawed out when I had the second inspection. I called it off in concern for the safety of the players.”

Groundsman David Blacknell revealed: “All I will say is that I reckon it's the closest call he's (the referee) ever made in his life.”

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The U's were sitting in 11th spot before the scheduled kick-off, with Tranmere three places and six points ahead of them.

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