Dons v Bury called off

OFF: Dons boss Karl Robinson with referee John Scott.
OFF: Dons boss Karl Robinson with referee John Scott.

DONS’ League 1 home game against Bury on Saturday has been postponed due to a frozen pitch.

The stadium:mk pitch was inspected on Friday morning but deemed unplayable by referee John Scott from Bicester.

And with the temperature predicted to remain well below zero overnight – possibly as low as -7°C – the decision to call the game off early was taken. The pitch has been covered since the Sheffield Wednesday game last Tuesday.

“Player safety is paramount,” said Mr Scott after his inspection. “I have to take into account whether it is safe for the spectators too.

“Entering the field of play, we have uncovered what we call the ‘action areas’ which is the centre circle and penalty areas, but it is frozen solid – it’s like concrete. There is no way you could play a game of football on it.

“It would be a farce and if someone goes over on this, there are serious injuries. I know it’s 24 hours before the game, but it’s a sensible decision with Bury having to travel. We have checked the temperatures over the next 24 hours, and it won’t get above freezing – there is no way the pitch is going to thaw.

“We want to see every game played. If there is any possible way, we’d look to play it. But it’s disappointing and frustrating, games get back-dated and normally end up in mid-week. It’s unfortunate, but we live in Britain and the weather dictates us from time to time.

“There is very little that could have been done. The groundsman has done all he can, he has covered the pitch with the sheets and sometimes the snow can insulate what’s below, but the frost is already in the pitch and there is no way it’s going to thaw.

“There are a lot of pitch inspections going on this morning, and I foresee a lot of other fixtures going this way too, hopefully not as many as last week, but I think we will get a lot that go.”

It is the second Dons home game to be postponed this winter following the late call-off of the Carlisle United fixture on January 14.

Dons’ next scheduled match is away to League 1 leaders Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night.