Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor angered by postponement at Dagenham & Redbridge one hour before kick-off

Dave Challinor wants some accountability after Hartlepool United’s National League match at Dagenham & Redbridge was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Saturday, 13th February 2021, 3:05 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th February 2021, 3:08 pm

It's the third consecutive away match Pools have had postponed following the matches at Halifax Town and Dover Athletic earlier in the month.

This one is likely to sting the most though as it came just an hour before kick-off with the side already having made the 265-mile trip down to East London at a significant expense.

Hartlepool had also offered to reverse the fixture and play it at Victoria Park but were supposedly given assurances that the match would go ahead as planned.

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Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Kings Lynn Town at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Tuesday 8th December 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Unfortunately, that has not proven to be the case as Challinor’s side now have another blank weekend before making the long journey down to Eastleigh for Tuesday night’s match (5pm kick-off).

"In this instance, there's more anger than anything else,” Challinor told The Mail.

“I’m not surprised by the outcome but the outcome should have been dealt with a lot earlier to prevent us travelling, wasting money and putting players and staff at risk.

"A poor decision has been made and somebody needs to be held accountable for that. We haven’t been misled but we’re in the hands of the match official and I was chatting with Daryl [McMahon] their manager and within a minute of walking on the pitch could tell that it wasn’t playable and unsafe.

He added: "We changed our plans and trained up there before we left, I was expecting a call Friday lunchtime to say the game was off so when we were told it was on we were absolutely delighted.

"But when we got to the ground, there wasn't a decision to make, the referee said the pitch is playable yesterday but Dagenham said the pitch was worse yesterday. He's made a poor decision, a wrong decision which has cost the club a lot of money.

"Unfortunately, people know they've made a mistake and rather than be accountable for that mistake, they want to try and look the best they can out of a bad situation.

"The only people who suffer are ourselves.”

The match will now have to be rearranged to be played at a later date, likely to be in midweek.

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