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Match Abandoned
Match Abandoned
Saturday, 11th Feb 2012 15:54

Town’s home game against Middlesbrough was abandoned after 37 minutes due to a frozen pitch with the score at 0-0.

After two pitch inspections, the temperature having dropped to -13 overnight, referee Dean Whitestone had deemed the surface playable, although Boro were understood to be unhappy with the decision.

Blues boss Paul Jewell had named an unchanged side for the third game running with the bench also the same as at Coventry a week ago.

The Blues started strongly and came close to creating the first opportunity in the fourth minute when a flick from Lee Martin was just taken away from Andy Drury inside the area on the right. On eight, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas crossed from the right and Daryl Murphy headed over.

Town had another chance to go in front on the quarter-hour when Murphy nodded down to Martin, who probably should have shot first time rather than taking a touch which allowed a Middlesbrough foot to take the ball away from him. The resultant corner eventually led to Emmanuel-Thomas hitting a low shot from the edge of the box into the sidenetting.

The Blues went even closer in the 21st minute when Murphy hit the bar. A short corner between Martin and Drury was played to Cresswell, whose cross was diverted into the Irisman’s path by Ibrahima Sonko. Murphy’s 15-yard strike cannoned back to Sonko but the Town skipper was crowded out.

Boro were still to seriously threaten, aside from winning a couple of corners with keeper Jason Steele and his defence not looking overly comfortable in the conditions.

On 32 the Blues were forced into a change when Sonko came off with what appeared to be a stomach muscle injury which had required treatment a few minutes earlier. Damien Delaney took his place with Tommy Smith moving to the right and taking the armband.

In the 37th minute referee Dean Whitestone went to speak to the fourth official, Wayne Porter, who had been spoken to regularly by the Boro management while the game continued, then after several minutes’ discussion decided to abandon the game much to the annoyance of the crowd.

There had been little obvious sign that the pitch had got any worse as the game had progressed, in which case questions should be raised as to why the officials gave the go-ahead for the match to start in the first place.

As they prepared to make the long journey home, the Boro fans sang ‘we want our money back’, and in the circumstances you could see their point.

Town: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Sonko (c) (Delaney 32), Smith, Cresswell, Drury, Hyam, Martin, Emmanuel-Thomas, Murphy, Chopra. Subs: McCarthy, Leadbitter, Bullard, Scotland.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Hines, Williams (c), Bennett, McMahon, Thomson, Arca, Emnes, Jutkiewicz, Main. Subs: Ripley, Ogbeche, Halliday, Williams, Smallwood. Referee Dean Whitestone (Northampton). Att: 19,735 (Boro: 730).

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oldtimer added 16:18 - Feb 11

Ely_Blue added 16:19 - Feb 11
Mogga and boro management were a disgrace

Jordan550 added 16:21 - Feb 11
How were we a disgrace? I think your pitch was the disgrace.

Ely_Blue added 16:23 - Feb 11
I think you will find the only players and management that were complaining were the boro ones

Keaneish added 16:23 - Feb 11
Nothing to do with your players looking fatigued and beaten then Mogga? Pitch looked like it was taking a stud for 22 players do why not sit down and shut up?

P**s poor officialdom and I suggest everyone who forked out on petrol, train tickets or took time off work, email the FA to complain and ask for refunds given the pitch passed two inspections and there were no visible signs of the pitch being too hard!

Like to hear Jewell's take on it.

Garv added 16:26 - Feb 11
Shut up Jordan you pillock

NoCanariesAllowed added 16:29 - Feb 11
Nightmare for several reasons:

* Ipswich in rare good form, would've wanted to keep the games coming to maintain the momentum
* Total waste of time for Middlesbrough fans who have lost time and money making that trip
* Try to get a bigger crowd in and then give them THIS nonsense - wonder if they'll bother coming back?
* The club can secretly forget the ticket experiment ever happened and leave prices as they were!

jas0999 added 16:30 - Feb 11
I am a season ticket holder, but must confess by the time the decision was made to play the game, due to distance it was getting late so I decided not to travel. Clearly a good decision, but I feel very sorry for the thousands of ITFC fans who like me travel many miles to games, along with the poor Boro fans.

What I find interesting is after 10 minutes, the Suffolk commentators said the pitch was hard in places and it was affecting the game. Yet now they are saying it was a poor decision to call off the game - so which one was it?

Also, what is the point of this balloon thing? Doesn't seem very effective to me. If there had have been ANY doubt at 11:15 this morning the game should have been called off - end of story. Clearly there were doubts hence the second inspection. The poor decision therefore was to play the game in the first place. You have to blame both clubs and the referee for that.

punch_bowl added 16:30 - Feb 11
no matter if we blame mogga or anyone else the final word is down to the ref, if he buckled under persuasion then he has no bottle, if it was down purely to his own judgement then hes a dick who needs sacking for passing the pitch at 11.15am and 2pm

bluearmy4life added 16:31 - Feb 11
P!ss poor from the officials absolute pathetic.

If they would of called it off @ 11.15 then fine can live with that.

Really feel for boro fans and town fans who had a long journey.

The referee is a banker!

Jordan550 added 16:32 - Feb 11
Joe Bennett told our manager the pitch was like an ice rink. Have you guys had any reaction from your players yet?

Sonko got injured because of the pitch.

itfckieren added 16:32 - Feb 11
Our pitch looks perfect compared to Rome for the Rugby.. Yet they are still playing on. Questions need to be asked.. No surprise the ref didn't want to talk

SamWhiteUK added 16:33 - Feb 11
Jordan550 - We're just too good for you, we're just too good for you....

piersmorganisatool added 16:36 - Feb 11
before too many boro fans kick up and give us a hard time on this one.

has anyone ever visited Middlesbrough before?

i went there once............never again, it made Beirut look like Cannes.

Eeyore added 16:37 - Feb 11
As I said earlier: Surely there must be available data on how long it takes for the surface of an uncovered pitch to freeze at a given temperature. It would also depend on the temperature of the soil and the wind speed but I can't believe that this information is not available to groundsmen.

SamWhiteUK added 16:38 - Feb 11
On a side note, I saw one Boro player throw something down in anger when the announcement was made, another seeming to point to the fans, presumably saying they've come to see a game, so Jordan550 don't give us that tripe about your players wanting the game called off.

jas0999 added 16:38 - Feb 11
"As soon as the covers came off around 1.30pm though, the still freezing temperatures took hold and made shaded areas of the pitch in front of the dugouts rock-solid.

The linesman on that side was forced to run inside the touchline to avoid the icy ground, while Sonko limped off with a suspected broken rib after falling awkwardly with no players around him"

Source: EADT.

So if this is the case, why did the pitch pass it's first inspection?? Does not put either club or the ref in a good light.


Jordan550 added 16:41 - Feb 11
Who said our players wanted the game off? I just said one of our players told the boss what the pitch was like?

Jordan550 added 16:45 - Feb 11
Get better equipment to make your pitch playable in these conditions, before you go slamming our management for wanting the game off.

If you are wondering why Sonko is still injured in a couple of weeks, blame that poor pitch. If an Ipswich player broke his leg or something would you have ago at the ref for not calling the game off? I think you would

Ely_Blue added 16:45 - Feb 11
Jordan, sonkos injury had nothing to do with the pitch it was in an area of the pitch well away from the bit they were complaining about

bluearmy4life added 16:46 - Feb 11
We need to re-invest in undersoil heating.

We are in 2012 not 1980.

Jordan550 added 16:46 - Feb 11
Try this for a starter: Undersoil heating.

h32 added 16:46 - Feb 11
I suggest before more moronic comments are directed at Mogga - YOU GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT.

The Linesman was the one who was complaining to the fourth official that he could not get a safe grip - that's where it all stemmed from - hence what happened.

The game should never have started, if after only half an hour it becomes unfit - awful decision to start and then abandon.

No doubt Mr Clegg and his genourosity, will refund everyone !!!! - he'll probably remind you it was cheaper today anyway.


gypo added 16:47 - Feb 11
Clegg just said fans will have to pay 50% of ticket value for rearranged game !!!

h32 added 16:48 - Feb 11
MOGGA - a once great servant to our Club - don't forget it.

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