‘Somebody needs to be held accountable’, fumes Dave Challinor after Pools postponement an hour before kick-off

Hartlepool celebrate scoring against Solihull Moors. Picture: Scott Llewellyn

Dave Challinor is seething after Hartlepool United’s game today at Dagenham & Redbridge was postponed just over an hour before kick-off.

The Victoria Road pitch yesterday passed a pitch inspection by the match referee, so promotion-chasing Pools set off for Dagenham looking to continue their good form.

But after freezing temperatures, which were forecast, it became clear today that the match could not go ahead, and a Pools statement read: “The decision was agreed by both managers as the pitch was unsafe to play on.”

“In this instance there is probably a little bit more anger than anything else,” Challinor told his club website.

“The pitch was assessed yesterday by the match referee and, listen, Joe’s got there a little bit earlier looked at the pitch and it’s rock solid, it’s dangerous.

“They’ve not been able to get on it because of ladies game last Sunday, then it snowed and it’s been frozen since.

“But wasn’t really a decision to make. The referee himself turned up yesterday and said the pitch is playable, but the ground staff at Dagenham have said the pitch was worse yesterday.

“That’s when there becomes anger about it because there needs to be accountability here.

“He’s made a poor, poor decision, a wrong decision, which has cost us a lot of money and somebody needs to be held accountable for that.

“It’s nothing to do with Dagenham. He can’t even hide behind another referee doing the first inspection, or someone else has said the pitch was playable – the match referee turned up [on Friday] and said the pitch was playable and made that call regardless what the potential forecast was.

“You turn up and it’s dangerous more than anything else. There are areas that are okay, but in the main it’s rock solid, a risk to players’ safety.”

Pools had offered to switch venues and play the game at game at home as they have not played Dagenham yet this season.

Hartlepool have this season seen their match at Halifax called off twice and a fixture with Eastleigh was abandoned at half time.

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