Pompey opinion: Little sense in playing postponement blame game

The Crown Ground pitch covers couldn't prevent a frozen pitch before kick-off Picture: @ASFCofficial
The Crown Ground pitch covers couldn't prevent a frozen pitch before kick-off Picture: @ASFCofficial
Pompey and Fulham drew 3-3. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss disappointed not to get victory

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It stretched from south of Birmingham to the Crown Ground itself.

The trail of Pompey fans snaked all the way up the M6 and was supplemented by those exiles making their way to the game from branches around the country.

Accrington are culpable! The ref was at fault! Who schedules these pitch inspections? What are the Trust doing about this? What are The News doing about this?

But, all week, the suspicion had been this was a game which was going to bite the, erm, frost.

Three home postponements and a failure to play a game on their home patch since mid-November was pretty compelling grounds for concern.

Accy, though, for a number of reasons, were desperate to get the game on.

A fixture backlog and, no doubt, the need to pay the bills provides its own pressures for a club of their size.

Before the weekend, Accy’s lost revenue topped £100,000, leading to owner, Andy Holt, getting his hands dirty in the bid to get the match played.

Improved drainage and investing in frost covers led to encouraging noises coming from Lancashire the clash would beat the elements.

It turned out, however, they were more optimistic than realistic. And so it proved as referee, Trevor Kettle, poured cold water on those hopes of the game going ahead during his 10am inspection.

Cue frustration from Pompey fans scattered around the country, their weekend plans screwed and wallets hit.

Accrington are culpable! The ref was at fault! Who schedules these pitch inspections? What are the Trust doing about this? What are The News doing about this?

It was a scattergun blame game from many, while the more pragmatic acknowledged it served little purpose pointing the finger.

It’s hard to imagine more could have been done by a club keener than anyone to get the game played.

The floods which have affected the north west have made previous postponements an easy call.

If your pitch is a pond you aren’t going to be playing football on it.

Frost presents different circumstances to deal with, however.

Ref Kettle had to balance allowing time to see if a thaw was going to occur and the covers had done their job, with the knowledge there were fans travelling the length of the country.

The danger was a repeat of a scenario at Stanley back in 2008.

A 10am inspection for their game with Brentford saw the pitch deemed playable, before it was decided it was frozen an hour before kick-off. Witnesses report there was no obvious temperature drop.

There’s always someone worse off to make you feel better...

– JORDAN CROSS