Pompey defender: We feared Oldham could get game abandoned

Jackett: Fourth place now open to Pompey

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Brandon Haunstrup admitted he feared Oldham’s protestations could have resulted in Saturday’s encounter being abandoned.

The Boundary Park clash was struck by a heavy second-half blizzard when the Blues had a 2-0 advantage.

Brandon Haunstrup battles Eoin Doyle for the ball in Pompey's 2-0 win at Oldham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Brandon Haunstrup battles Eoin Doyle for the ball in Pompey's 2-0 win at Oldham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Such was the ferocity of the storm, referee Seb Stockbridge stopped played on 62 minutes to consult with his colleagues, along with managers and the players.

With snow obstructing the pitch’s lines, the match officials were keen for Oldham’s groundstaff to intervene.

Meanwhile, manager Richie Weller and his players attempted to persuade the referee to call off the game as they were struggling to see.

After a nine-minute delay, play resumed with the lines cleared and the sun breaking through.

The momentum for getting the game called off was building and I’m not sure the ref knew what to do

Brandon Haunstrup

And Pompey saw out the match to claim a welcome 2-0 scoreline, which was fully deserved.

Haunstrup said: ‘There was a spell in the second half, for the first 25 minutes, when we had the wind in our faces and you could see barely anything.

‘Then there was the fear it could be called off.

‘The ref got everyone in and had a word with the linesmen. Both linesmen were complaining they couldn’t see the lines, so the groundstaff were asked if they could clear the lines, but they weren’t actually doing it!

‘I don’t know if their manager told them not to because you could see they weren’t doing anything, it was a bit of a shambles.

‘The match being abandoned was at the back of your mind. You are 2-0 up away at Oldham, playing well and they haven’t created anything or done anything to hurt us because we were defending well and creating chances.

‘Meanwhile, their players were complaining they couldn’t see anything.

‘The momentum for getting the game called off was building and I’m not sure the ref knew what to do.

‘Then the sun came out and I heard Eoin Doyle say to his team-mates “We’re in trouble”. He knew the moment the sun came out the ref wasn’t going to call it off!’

Upon his first-team return, Brett Pitman struck twice in the opening 42 minutes to secure the victory.

Haunstrup was also back in the side – preferred to Sylvain Deslandes at left-back.

And he had never before experienced such conditions.

He added: ‘I’ve never so much as trained in something like that, it was mad.

‘You couldn’t really see much, but had to get on with it. It was playable, don’t get me wrong, but it’s an extra struggle. We came through that, though, and did well.’

– NEIL ALLEN