Decision to postpone Harrogate Town's clash with Leyton Orient was a 'mutual one', says Simon Weaver

Simon Weaver said that the decision to postpone Harrogate Town's League Two fixture with Leyton Orient was a "mutual" one.

Harrogate Town staff and volunteers attempted to clear the EnviroVent Stadium pitch of snow ahead of Saturday's scheduled League Two fixture with Leyton Orient.  Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town staff and volunteers attempted to clear the EnviroVent Stadium pitch of snow ahead of Saturday's scheduled League Two fixture with Leyton Orient. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

With the EnviroVent Stadium pitch covered in snow, Saturday's game was called off just over an hour before its scheduled kick-off time of 3pm.

Sulphurites staff and a number of volunteers joined forces in an attempt to clear the playing surface, with referee Ross Joyce apparently willing to consider delaying the start of proceedings in order to give the match a chance of going ahead.

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But, with concerns over the safety of both players and spectators, the match official, Harrogate manager Weaver and Orient boss Kenny Jackett eventually all agreed that postponing the contest was the right thing to do.

Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.

"Obviously there was a bit of snow forecast, but you can't just call a game off on that basis," the Town chief told the Harrogate Advertiser.

"The referee was here at the ground at 12.15 and there was nothing to see, there was no problem, the pitch was fine. An hour later, there was a thick covering of snow.

"He [Joyce] was talking about delaying the kick-off and asking about the chances of the pitch being waterlogged because of the snow and whether it would be safe for the players. There were also concerns about whether the stadium and the areas around the ground would be dangerous for supporters.

"It was a tough one to call. I was happy to put the decision back on to Leyton Orient' s manager and in the end it was a mutual decision between the three of us.

"He [Jackett] was frustrated, but in the end he said 'this isn't going to happen is it?'. He was worried about the travelling supporters on the roads, their safety and the possibility of them ending up stuck up here and I admire him for that."

Naturally, fans of both clubs were left frustrated by Saturday's postponement, particularly those Orient followers who had made the long trip up to North Yorkshire from London.

But, Weaver said that both he and his players were left similarly disappointed following an unexpectedly heavy deluge of snow, one which ended up being somewhat worse than weather forecasts had predicted.

"We're all feeling a bit flat because you look forward to games at 3pm on a Saturday and obviously a lot of preparation has gone into making sure we were ready for this fixture," he added.

"It's frustrating for us and of course for the fans, but people's safety always has to come first.

"The positive is that a couple of players who were struggling to make today have an extra few days to recover and get themselves right, so there's a chance they might be okay in time for Bradford City on Tuesday, but we'll just have to see."