Oldham boss: Conditions were farcical against Pompey

Pompey boss steps up striker search

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Richie Wellens branded the blizzard conditions ‘farcical’ as his team foundered in the snow.

The Oldham boss had his doubts about whether the game should have finished, as they were consigned to a 2-0 defeat to Pompey.

Oldham's Kean Bryan delivers a cross against Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

Oldham's Kean Bryan delivers a cross against Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

The snow fell at Boundary Park intermittently throughout the first half on Saturday, but that intensified after the break, forcing ref Seb Stockbridge to call a halt to proceedings in the 62nd minute.

His concerns focused on the visibility of the pitch markings during a nine-minute stoppage. Wellens, though, felt visibility was the major problem impacting the players.

He told BBC Radio Manchester Sport: ‘We knew the snow storm was coming but I thought with the wind behind us we could get back into the game.

‘For the majority of the second half it was hard for the players to see, get our foot in or do anything.

‘The pitch was covered in snow so I’m not going to be too hard for the players because they are difficult conditions to play in.

‘The players couldn’t see. When we were at ground level you couldn’t see the flight of the ball in the middle.

‘You couldn’t see the flight of the ball but the ref was more worried about the lines on the pitch, which is frustrating because it was a big game for us.

‘When the keeper is kicking the ball up in the air and it’s going for a throw 15 yards from the byline you know the conditions are pretty farcical.’

Wellens felt Pompey winning the toss was a significant factor in the game’s outcome, as they chose to play with the wind at their backs in the first half.

He said: ‘It was really tough conditions for both sets of players.

‘The big thing was they won the toss, turned us around and played the conditions first half.

‘The wind was quite strong, They played them quite well and we were still trying to play.’