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Club News

Ref explains abandonment

8 December 2018

Club News

Ref explains abandonment

8 December 2018

Referee Oliver Langford admitted it was the sensible decision to call off today's League One game with Sunderland at 1-1 after 73 minutes.

A record crowd packed into the Wham Stadium – 5,257 – with Sunderland bringing 2,604.

The game was in doubt beforehand due to the incessant rain but it eased off just before kick off.

Chris Maguire opened the scoring for Sunderland on 63 minutes when he charged down a Connor Ripley goalkick and the ball rolled it into the net – although the Reds felt he handled it.

Bolton loan striker Connor Hall equalised on 69 minutes following a goalmouth scramble – it would have been his first league goal but now won't count.

Sean McConville was denied when one-on-one with the keeper Jon McLaughlin just after and Maguire hit the top of the crossbar for Sunderland before the referee called off the game on 72 minutes.

“It always a tough decision when you have to abandon the game,” said the referee.

“I saw the pitch at 10.30am this morning in its best state and in the end I have seen the pitch at its worse.

“Both managers were in agreement and it was right decision to call time when I did.

“It's unfortunate but everyone was in total agreement and player safety was paramount.

“It was touch and go at the start but conditions were OK. The rain started at 12.30 but at 3 o'clock the conditions were OK and stayed that way in the first half,

“Then the heavens opened and I have never seen rain like that. It was coming down in sheets. With the score at 1-1, it was a sensible decision to make.

“I don't want anyone getting injured and the way they were sliding around at the end and the amount of water coming up, player safety was paramount regardless of the score.”

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