Safety first with Oxford United call-off

9:30am Saturday 19th January 2013

By Mark Edwards

TRY as they might, the weather had the final say as Oxford United’s clash against Rotherham was called off yesterday afternoon over fears of safety.

The U’s were confident earlier in the day that the pitch – which had been covered since Tuesday – would be playable, but had voiced concerns over the amount of snow falling.

They had called a 10am inspection for this morning, but the decision was taken out of their hands.

A statement from the club read: “With the weather conditions deteriorating throughout Friday, the home game against Rotherham United at the Kassam Stadium has now been postponed on safety grounds.

“The original plan was for a 10am pitch inspection on Saturday morning, but the approach roads, stands and surrounding areas have become treacherous.

“Spectator safety is a priority and after consultation with the local authority the game has been called off.”

Local non-league games were also decimated by the weather.

Oxford City’s home Blue Square Bet North clash against Halifax was called off at 2pm yesterday, while the Evo-Stik Southern League games involving Banbury United, Abingdon United and Didcot Town are expected to be called off this morning.

Southern League rules state no games can be called off officially until the day of the match.

North Leigh’s game at Tiverton faces an 8.30am pitch inspection.

All games scheduled for Oxford City Council’s pitches were called off at lunchtime yesterday, while the entire Oxfordshire Senior League, North Berks League, Witney & District FA, Oxford Mail Boys League, Oxford Mail Girls League and the Giles Sports Witney Youth League programmes were suspended.

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