Six games in the English Football League this weekend have fallen victim to freezing conditions gripping the UK.
Saturday’s Sky Bet League One matches between Cheltenham and Carlisle and Port Vale and Wycombe were both postponed due to frozen pitches.
League Two games at AFC Wimbledon, Bradford, Mansfield and Swindon were also called off, with temperatures dropping to minus 7C in some parts this week.
Tomorrow's Sky Bet League One fixture with Carlisle United has been postponed due to a frozen pitch ❌
For more details, click here ⤵️#ctfc♦️
— Cheltenham Town (@CTFCofficial) January 19, 2024
“A Football League appointed match official conducted an 11am pitch inspection at the Completely-Suzuki Stadium this morning,” read a Cheltenham club statement on Friday.
“After consultation with the Football League the decision has been made to postpone tomorrow’s fixture.
“The frost covers have been on the pitch all week, but temperatures for the past two nights have fallen so low that a considerable amount of frost has got into the pitch.
“On balance it was felt that temperatures are not forecast to rise high enough to remove the frost before kick-off so the decision has been taken to postpone the match.
🗣️ Hear from referee David Naylor and head groundsman Michael Merriman following the decision to postpone tomorrow's match at home to Sutton United due to a frozen pitch.
— Mansfield Town FC (@mansfieldtownfc) January 19, 2024
“The timing of the decision has also taken into account the considerable journey faced by opponents Carlisle and a desire to inconvenience them as little as possible.”
Wycombe’s fixture at Port Vale also fell later in the day following a pitch inspection.
Mansfield, who quickly announced that Sutton will now visit on Tuesday, said: “Frost covers have been in place on the pitch for 10 days as part of the club’s efforts to protect the pitch from sub zero temperatures as well as industrial hot-air blowers.
“Temperatures in Mansfield, however, have been as low as minus 7C. Following a pitch inspection by an EFL appointed referee the pitch has been deemed unplayable.”
Bradford reported sub-zero temperatures of up to minus 7C this week ahead of their Yorkshire derby with Doncaster, saying areas of the Valley Parade surface had been left frozen.
❄️ | Tomorrow's scheduled visit of Doncaster Rovers has been postponed due to a frozen pitch.#BCAFC
— Bradford City AFC (@officialbantams) January 19, 2024
The Bantams added: “Frost covers, effective to minus 4C, have been covering the pitch since last Friday, with every effort made to host the fixture.”
Wimbledon said of their Plough Lane fixture with Crawley being called off: “Every effort was made to get this game on by our staff, and volunteers helped to cover the playing surface earlier this week to protect against the elements.
“However, the pitch was today deemed to be unplayable with parts of it still frozen.
“Though temperatures are due to increase by mid-morning on Saturday, conditions are still predicted to be low at this time, so there’s no guarantee that the pitch would be playable by 1.45 pm when it’s needed for pre-match.”
Swindon’s home game with Tranmere was also postponed on Friday.