Jeff Stelling fumes over on his social media account as a match between Halifax and his beloved Hartlepool is called off late.
The two sides were set to face each other on Tuesday night, with a kick off time of 7pm, however after calls that the game looked set to go ahead without any issues, then flagged up the postponement.
10 hours before kick off, Halifax said “there home match tonight with Hartlepool United in the Vanarama National League is ON.
“There is now no need for a pitch inspection ahead of tonight’s game.”
Then as it approached 6pm, they wrote: “Following a sudden drop in temperature a part of the pitch In front of the South Stand is frozen.
“A second pitch inspection has been taken by the match referee and he has called for the game to be OFF.”
⚠️ POSTPONED| Following a sudden drop in temperature a part of the pitch In front of the South Stand is frozen.
— FC Halifax Town (@FCHTOnline) January 12, 2021
This then caused Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling to have his say, venting out his frustration at it all.
He wrote: “Seriously there needs to be an investigation into events at Halifax Town. Planned pitch inspection for tonight’s re arranged game deemed unnecessary earlier today. Then at 545 with our players already arrived , the game is called off. Time, effort and money wasted. Disgraceful!”
Seriously there needs to be an investigation into events at Halifax Town. Planned pitch inspection for tonight’s re arranged game deemed unnecessary earlier today. Then at 545 with our players already arrived , the game is called off. Time, effort and money wasted. Disgraceful!
— Jeff Stelling (@JeffStelling) January 12, 2021
Hartlepool fans chose to hit out at Halifax after the National League tie between the clubs on the 2nd of January was postponed due to a frozen pitch following a 9am inspection.
The criticism continued the following weekend as Pools’ match against Wealdstone at Victoria Park went ahead as planned despite also being subject to an inspection following sub-zero temperatures in the area.
Several allegations were made on social media that The Shaymen didn’t want the match to be played on the 2nd of January – that however was dismissed by Pete Wild ahead of the third meeting between the sides in just over three weeks.
“It’s another chance to put the wrongs right from Boxing Day,” the Halifax manager told The Courier.
“Despite what [the Hartlepool fans] thought, we didn’t try and get the game called off, but some of the words that have been said makes it a little bit more spicy than I thought it was going to be.”
The surface at the Shay pic.twitter.com/beAbmklBmq
— Tom Scargill (@HxCourierTom) January 12, 2021
Halifax added on Tuesday night: “If you have purchased the stream for tonight’s game. Please contact MediaTeam@fchalifaxtown.com to arrange your refund.”
Halifax are 6th in the National League table, with opponents Hartlepool sitting 2nd, eight points behind leaders Torquay United.
Pools boss Dave Challinor was disappointed but not surprised by the decision.
You can usually rely on Challinor to tell it how it is.
If there was something out of order with tonight’s postponement, he would have said it. Pitch covers just didn’t do their job.
— Dominic Scurr (@DomScurr) January 12, 2021
“The pitch is not playable,” he said afterwards. “We came here earlier in the day and had a look at the pitch and the covers were on it but it was playable.
“We turned up after our pre-match expecting the pitch to still be playable but we’ve came out and had a look and it’s a completely different pitch to how it was just over two hours ago because the temperatures dropped.
“It’s made the top end crusty if you like but at the other end it’s rock solid and dangerous so it’s not a difficult decision, we couldn’t play on it.
“Maybe 25 years ago you might have but it’s dangerous and the game can’t happen.
“It’s frustrating for everybody, you prepare for a game and do all the hard work and look forward to playing. Unfortunately we weren’t able to do that and with the way things are especially this time of year.”
Fans couldn’t help but react after Jeff Stelling fumes on social media as the match is called off late…
@therobharrison1: It could just be that the temperature dropped significantly in a few hours?
@JeffStelling: And have they not heard of forecasts Rob. THEY chose to call off an inspection that had been arranged earlier in the day presumably because it was like the Costa del bloody Halifax then. I will give them John Kettleys number if they want it !
@SamualMykola: rent free. Up the Shaymen!!!
@UTP1908: Wouldn’t call it rent free. we should be playing eachother in 40 minutes and so you can see why Jeff is annoyed
@RossHeslop91: Surely you must realise it’s the ref that calls it…… local ref probably called earlier, said pitch was playable so no need for main ref to inspect, he’s turned up and shock horror the weather has changed (it happens) and had to call it
@JeffStelling: They didn’t look earlier – that’s the point. I know they cant control weather but surely there could have been an earlier call. This season we went to Barnet only for game to be called off late Friday night. And had a game at Eastleigh abandoned at ht (correctly). It’s expensive!
@TJMBlackGuy: Surely someone of your footballing knowledge would know that the referee makes these decisions. So instead of blaming our club, point your finger at the match officials
@CoachsHotline: Apologies for the change in weather Jeff. Will sort it for next time
@andrewmarkham3: Halifax Town control the match referee and the weather. Apparently it was Halifax fault the Aston Villa game was postponed due to COVID too. As a football supporter I’d assume you’d understand it’s as much out of their control as anyone’s and down to the referee!!!
@positiveshaymen: They should listen to you, being a Hartlepool fan makes you something of an authority on shit football clubs.
@kevheaton: In fairness, we do have form when it comes to last minute call offs
@RobertStoney: They did similar to us back in Jan 2018 – bad weather all night, not a word from them until late in the morning and they decided to call it off as everyone got to Yorkshire around midday.
@mattmet79: They’re having you on, Jeff! It’s still above freezing here and I’m still in my shorts!! My lawn isn’t frozen – play here and I’ll pop the back light on