Leyton Orient v Pools ref: I had no choice

TOUGH DECISION: Referee Brendan Malone who called off the Leyton Orient v Hartlepool United league one game due to the Pools team coach being unable to get to the ground as they were held up in traffic on the M11. Picture by FRANK REID

TOUGH DECISION: Referee Brendan Malone who called off the Leyton Orient v Hartlepool United league one game due to the Pools team coach being unable to get to the ground as they were held up in traffic on the M11. Picture by FRANK REID

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REFEREE Brendan Malone admits he was left with no choice but to postpone Saturday’s game between Hartlepool United and Leyton Orient.

Despite being within 10 miles of Brisbane Road, the Pools team coach was gridlocked in traffic caused by a fatal accident.

The 3pm kick-off was initially delayed and officials remained hopeful that the game would go ahead.

However, at 3.20pm, and with Pools still uncertain of when they would arrive at the ground, Malone decided to call off the fixture.

“It was very frustrating all round,” he said.

“There were full updates and we were told Hartlepool were still stuck where they had been since one o’clock – there was nothing we could do about it.

“Police advice was that they would not move for the next few hours.

“The Hartlepool fans were in the ground and had come a long way.

“It’s a long way for no game – but someone was killed in the accident, which is very unfortunate.

“The police couldn’t give me a time when the Hartlepool team would arrive and so we had to make a decision on what news we got, and that was to call the game off.”