Alfreton Town’s FA Cup second round fixture against Walsall is POSTPONED just six minutes before kick-off due to a frozen pitch – and the game was set to be shown live on BBC One!
- Alfreton Town’s FA Cup second round match against Walsall has been postponed
- Officials deemed the pitch was unplayable after temperatures dropped to -2º
- We expected perfection from VAR – we haven’t got it: Listen to It’s All Kicking Off
Alfreton Town’s FA Cup second round fixture against Walsall has been postponed just six minutes before kick-off due to adverse weather conditions, with Walsall manager Mat Sadler describing the pitch as ‘rock-hard’.
The game was set to be shown live on BBC One, but the broadcaster had to amend its scheduling quickly, cutting to its show ‘Money for Nothing’.
Adverse weather conditions had swept through Derbyshire overnight, with temperatures dropping to -2 degrees ahead of the match.
Alfreton’s grounds staff and volunteers had been working hard this morning to ensure the fixture went ahead, with players having completed their warm-ups prior to kick-off.
Supporters had also taken their positions in the stands at the Impact Arena Stadium, but just moments before the game was due to start, the FA has announced that it would be postponed.
Alfreton Town’s FA Cup second round clash against Walsall has been postponed
It came after freezing temperatures sweeping through Derbyshire over night, with officials deeming the pitch to be frozen
Grounds staff at the Impact Arena Stadium had been working hard this morning to ensure the game went ahead
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A statement from Alfreton Town on X (formerly Twitter) read: ‘GAME OFF. Despite our best efforts unfortunately the match officials have called the match off.
‘Apologies to those that have travelled. We will provide further updates when we have them.’
Officials were seen speaking to club representatives ahead of the match, with referee Sam Allison and his team deeming the conditions to be too be unplayable.
He was seen speaking to Walsall boss Sadler and Alfreton Town manager Billy Heath explaining the decision to abandon the game on BBC’s live coverage.
Despite the freezing conditions, Match officials had conducted a pitch inspection at 11.30am on Saturday morning but were waiting to make a final call on whether the game would go ahead.
Walsall manager Sadler told BBC One: ‘As soon as I walked out here I thought the game would be off. It’s rock-hard and not getting any warmer.
‘I know they left it as late as possible to see if it could be played, but it looked dangerous to me.
‘I think common sense has prevailed on that one. The game was never going to be played as soon as the covers came off – the goal mouths were rock hard.
‘Right decision to have been called off.’
The FA added in a post on social media: ‘Our thoughts are with both sets of fans that travelled to the Impact Arena.
‘The support shown for your teams is incredible and we can’t wait to welcome you at the rearranged fixture.’
The FA paid it’s sympathies to both sets of fans on social media who had travelled to the game
Referee Sam Allison was seen explaining the decision to postpone the game to both managers alongside his officiating team
Fans had taken their places in the stands with the game being called off just moments before kick off
Walsall manager Mat Sadler and Alfreton boss Billy Heath watched on from the side of the pitch
Fans flocked in numbers for the match, but were left disappointed after the game was abandoned
Players had also been out on the field completing their warm ups, but Walsall manager, Sadler had said the pitch was ‘rock-hard’
The FA lauded the grounds staff and volunteers who had been working hard to ensure the game went ahead on time
Meanwhile, Stephen Warnock said to BBC Sport: ‘Safety of the players is paramount, the feedback from the players and what they’re telling the managers and the referees is that it’s not right to play on.
‘It becomes dangerous. It’s a real shame because we all want this game to go ahead, the fans have come out and I’m sure there’s a safety aspect for all the fans getting out.’
The draw for the third round of the FA Cup will take place on Sunday, with updates to follow on when this match will be replayed.
It comes as a cold weather snap has caused havoc around the English Football League, with Manchester United’s plans to fly to Newcastle were curtailed as flights from Manchester Airport were grounded due to the adverse conditions.IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!
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