MATCH OFF: Sunderland v Hartlepool United Durham Challenge Cup quarter-final cancelled

The Durham Challenge Cup quarter-final match between Sunderland and Hartlepool United has been cancelled.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 1:51 pm
Sunderland Under-23s manager Elliott Dickman.
Sunderland Under-23s manager Elliott Dickman.

The match was set to take place on Thursday evening at Eppleton Colliery Welfare (7pm kick-off) but has now been cancelled with Sunderland progressing through to the semi-finals.

Sunderland will now join Seaham Red Star, Stockton Town and Spennymoor Town in the final four of the competition, the draw will be made at 2pm on Friday 24 January.

Due to Hartlepool United’s youth team playing just 24-hours before the originally scheduled match and their injury ravaged first team set to host Stockport County at Victoria Park on Saturday, the decision was made to cancel the match late on.

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Dave Challinor and Antony Sweeney watching the players warming up during the Vanarama National League match between Ebbsfleet United and Hartlepool United at The Cufflink Stadium, Northfleet on Saturday 16th November 2019. (Credit: Leila Coker | MI News)

On the decision, Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor explained: “We’ve got to be careful with what we do.

“I’ve had eight players missing, players have knocks. I’ve got players who need games but welfare wise we’ve got to look after our team.

“The team tonight would have been made up of lads who aren’t in our squad and at the moment I haven’t got any of them as everyone has had to be involved and the rest would have been academy players who played yesterday.

“So to put say 10 16-year-olds against a Sunderland under-23s team less than 24 hours after they played, welfare wise we’d be shot.

“There’s been some doubts about the game going ahead which is disappointing, but we’ve got to look after our players.”