Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver fumes as Carlisle United clash is abandoned after 10 minutes
Unhappy Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver has questioned the decision to abandon Tuesday night's League Two clash with Carlisle United after just 10 minutes.
With the Sulphurites leading their high-flying visitors 1-0 on a freezing cold evening courtesy of Connor Kirby's first-minute header, referee Martin Coy decided that the EnviroVent Stadium pitch had become unsafe.
Earlier in the day, an army of volunteers helped clear snow which had fallen on Wetherby Road overnight, and the match official deemed the surface playable during a 5pm inspection.
The pitch was apparently still fit for purpose when the match got underway shortly after 7.45pm, but less than 10 minutes later, Mr Coy opted to bring proceedings to a halt.
"It is frustrating and it makes it even worse when you start the game really well and score inside a minute," Weaver said.
"I didn't see any difference in the pitch from how it was at 5.15 when the referee said the game was on. It wasn't getting any worse.
"He [the referee] warned me five minutes before the game that he was going to give it 10 minutes and see what's it's like because he was worried that it had got worse. I would have to argue that it hadn't got any worse and the temperature hadn't dropped, it had actually lifted a bit.
"There was no hesitation evident on the pitch from any of the players. Nobody had slipped over, so you've got to question why he was forced into making that decision at that time.
"I've played on a lot firmer pitches than this. You do in pre-season when they're dry. I'd never want to put a player at risk, but I just couldn't see any risk at that point. In my opinion, it looks safe."