Crawley insist best efforts were made to save Pompey game

The Checkatrade Stadium

The Checkatrade Stadium

Kal Naismith was gaffer for a day Phil Whyte's man of the match against Cambridge United. Photo by Joe Pepler

Pompey 2 Cambridge United 1: Gaffer for a day

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Crawley Town operations director, Kelly Derham, admitted the club did all it could to get today’s game with Pompey on.

The Blues’ League Two visit to the Checkatrade Stadium was called off at 9am on this morning after a pitch inspection by referee Kevin Johnson.

A frozen pitch and cold weather forecast for the rest of the day meant the match official wasn’t satisfied the match could go ahead in safe conditions.

This was despite the Reds employing frost protectors on the pitch and hot-air blowers overnight in the build-up to the game.

Derham admitted disappointment in having to concede defeat to the elements but stressed there was nothing more the club could have done.

‘We’re absolutely devastated to lose our first game since 2014 but the elements have beaten us unfortunately,’ said Derham on Crawley’s official website crawleytownfc.com

‘The pitch is well grassed but the frost has got into the ground and the southern end was a particular concern for the referee, who has the safety of the players as his priority.

‘We had hot-air blowers working on that area on Friday and through the night but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.

‘We had a team here until 11.30pm on Friday and I would like to thank Reds fans Dan Brown, Dan Punt, Mark Gilbert, Craig Derham and Ken Blackmore who assisted us during much of the day as well as the backroom staff at the club, who were there until late in the evening working hard to try and get the game on.

‘Frost covers protect to a temperature of minus three but for the last two nights it has been minus seven degrees inside the stadium, hence our decision to employ a hot-air system to see if that would help us, at considerable expense to the club, on Friday.

‘Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the elements have beaten us on this occasion.’

A date for the rearranged fixture is still to be decided.

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