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Reasoning for postponement

6 February 2013

United's Operations Director Dave McCarthy gave a full account of the reasoning for Tuesday's postponed League One fixture with Crawley Town.

Heavy snowfall overnight had left the Bramall Lane surface white over on Tuesday morning and as that began to thaw, the pitch became heavily waterlogged in certain areas, prompting a 1pm inspection.

Local match official Anthony Tankard thoroughly examined the surface, watched by Crawley boss Richie Barker, and after careful consideration it was deemed in the interests of players safety that the game should be called off.

McCarthy admitted the Blades disappointment, but given the weather that followed, was convinced it was the correct decision to postpone.

He commented: "It certainly was the right decision to call the game off when we did. The referee arrived just before 1pm and spent around 45 minutes inspecting the pitch, along with officials from both Sheffield United and Crawley Town.

"A few areas of the pitch were deemed to be dangerous and with the forecast for the rest of the afternoon and early evening the referee was left with no option but the postpone the fixture.

"The groundstaff worked as hard as they could, as they have throughout these tough winter months, to get the game on, but ultimately the weather got the better of us, which is rare at Bramall Lane.

"I believe it is the first game we have had called off because of the pitch in nearly 10 years."

McCarthy added: "We were concerned overnight and the blizzards in the morning had left the fixture in real danger.

"The official spoke at length with the Football League, who in turn looked at the Met Office forecast, which predicted more snow and it duly arrived."

"It would have been unfair to everyone, especially the visiting supporters, if we had inspected any later.

"It was a shame because both teams were desperate to play and I am sure it would have been a good game."

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