Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor defends FC Halifax Town's handling of frozen pitch postponements

Dave Challinor is hoping it will be third time lucky for Hartlepool United when they face Halifax Town next month.

Sunday, 17th January 2021, 5:16 pm

After two frozen pitch postponements, including one an hour before kick-off on Tuesday evening, the match has been given a third scheduled date. Pools are now set to face Halifax at The Shay on February 2 (7pm kick-off).

The Shaymen’s arranging of pitch inspections and postponements due to their playing surface has garnered significant criticism from Poolies on social media.

Club president Jeff Stelling even called for an investigation into Halifax’s handling of the late postponement on Tuesday night after the club deemed an afternoon inspection unnecessary.

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Dave Challinor has defended Halifax following two frozen pitch postponements against Hartlepool United.

And the fact Pools were able to get their match against Wealdstone on at Victoria Park last weekend despite harsher conditions than those in Halifax also didn’t sit right with many.

While Challinor is as frustrated with the situation as anyone, he won’t be pointing any fingers.

“I don’t blame Halifax at all,” he told The Mail. "They are completely different situations with different teams."

“Halifax’s ground is a council ground that they’re not in control of in the same way we are of ours. I’ve been at teams before that don’t have the luxury of frost covers, but we do.

General views of The Shay Stadium in Halifax, England. (Photo by Daniel Smith/Getty Images)

"I suppose not so much in this environment but in a normal environment with 4,000 fans in the ground, to have a match called off on a Saturday and moved to a Tuesday can cost you the price of what frost covers are.

"As much as it’s about the ground staff, it’s about the equipment you’ve got and our frost covers did a brilliant job to get the game on for us on Saturday, alongside other things.

"That’s not been the case at Halifax, you can point fingers if you want but it’s part and parcel of the environment that we’re in.

"We could be ready to play a game with a perfect pitch but then if one of our players or one of their players starts displaying coronavirus symptoms then the game gets called off, that’s the reality of the world we’re living in.

"It’s frustrating but being safe is the most important thing whether it’s the pitch or handling Covid.”

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