Newtown's plastic pitch wasn't safe to play on

Reporter:

Mike Sheridan

The right decision was taken to postpone Newtown’s clash with Cardiff Met University on Saturday, according to Robins boss Chris Hughes.

Heavy snow across the region on Friday night meant a virtual whiteout of all other football in Powys, but early indications were that the tie at Latham Park would beat the weather after the club’s artificial pitch passed an early morning check from Welsh Premier League officials.

But during a later inspection the match referee decided that the presence of lying snow on the pitch endangered player safety, and called the game off shortly after the arrival of the Cardiff Met team bus at Latham Park, at around 1pm.

It was the first game the club had lost to the weather since the installation of the club’s plastic ‘3g’ playing surface in 2014, but Newtown manager Hughes believes the right decision was taken.

“We would have liked the game on but it was difficult for the referee and in the end it was probably the right call, ” he said.

“Player safety has to be the first consideration for the referee.

“It would have been good to get out there today, and get back to winning ways in the league but it wasn’t to be.

“Thanks goes to all the volunteers at the club who worked very hard to get the game on, every one of the staff and players appreciate their efforts.”

A statement from the club released shortly after the postponement read: “Despite extensive efforts to clear the pitch and satisfy referee requirements, today’s 2pm KO against WPL opponents, Cardiff Met Uni was postponed after a 1pm inspection. It was deemed unsafe for players as snow would collect on players’ studs and make grip more difficult.”

The postponement also meant frustration for Montgomeryshire League sides Forden United and Newtown Wanderers, who were due to kick off at Latham Park later that evening, but who saw their game called off on the back of Newtown’s earlier postponement, with no improvement in conditions forecast.

Prior to the postponements, the two Newtown fixtures were the only surviving regional football fixtures of the day after the Montgomeryshire League saw all games cancelled and only one game survived in the Spar Mid Wales leagues, Presteigne St Andrews taking full advantage of their trip to a snow free West coast to record a 3-1 win over Aberystwyth University.

Email:

mike.sheridan@nwn.co.uk

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