Rovers and off for O’s!

ORIENT S home game with Bristol Rovers last Saturday was called off less than two hours before kick-off. Match referee Kevin Wright insisted he had no other option but to cancel the League One clash because of a waterlogged pitch. The referee was at Brisb

ORIENT'S home game with Bristol Rovers last Saturday was called off less than two hours before kick-off.

Match referee Kevin Wright insisted he had no other option but to cancel the League One clash because of a waterlogged pitch.

The referee was at Brisbane Road from nine in the morning and the pitch was deemed playable following a preliminary inspection at 10am.

The game looked as if it would beat the weather for much of the time, but then a torrential downpour just after 1pm left the pitch unplayable.


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The official believed that there was no other alternative but to postpone the game and explained: "I was here at nine o'clock and the pitch was playable at nine, ten, 11 and 12.

"But then the heavens opened, which flooded the affected areas and we had puddles on the pitch. We've all worked hard to get the game on, but unfortunately we're in the laps of the Gods and from a safety aspect the playing surface was unfit to play."

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The goalmouths and a strip alongside the West Stand were the problem areas and it was the second successive match at Brisbane Road that has been lost to the weather.

However, the official believed that everything possible had been done to save the game.

"The groundsman has been fantastic - he worked tirelessly on the pitch all through the morning and it was playable all through that time," he said.

"Yes, we had concerns, but it was playable at that stage, full stop. It was only in the last hour before we had to make the decision that the heavens opened.

"The forecast did predict that and we left the decision as late as possible and unfortunately we had to call it off at 1.15pm."

No date has yet been set for the game to be rescheduled and although Rovers have indicated the game will be played on Tuesday, February 2, the O's insist no definite decision has been made.

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