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A game of one half; Referee abandons play at the break.

Byline: Stephen Temlett

Referee Craig Thomson defended his decision to abandon Saturday's match at Palmerston.

The whistler said a number of players had raised concerns over changing direction and as a result the game was scrapped at the half-way stage.

Man in the middle Thomson said: "When we started the game the pitch was fine.

"There was a bit of give but during the course of the first half, the pitch started to freeze up and a number of players from both teams expressed concerns to me regarding turning.

"When they were going at a pace, stopping and turning, it was causing them concern whether they'd stay on their feet.

"I had a chance to have a look at it at half-time and, because it was only going to get worse, my decision was for the safety of the players to choose to abandon the game.

"It's never an easy decision and it's never a popular decision.

"I absolutely feel for both sets of spectators, particularly Dundee United fans who have travelled some distance, but the safety of the players is paramount.

"But as I say had it been the conditions as it was at the start of the game we could've finished the game but it gradually got worse."

The referee said both managers took the decision well and understood the reasons.

Gary Naysmith said: "The referee had made the decision without any input from the managers. When he took us in to explain his decision, he'd already made it.

"He told us why and said it was for the safety of the players. It wasn't a case of 'what do you think. let's make a decision between us'.

"The referee and officials had made the decision.

"It's hard for me to tell because I've not got boots on. The majority of them would be happy to go out and play a game. What came from both changing rooms is that the pitch wasn't the same as when the game started.

"When I walked in at half-time I never thought the game was in doubt so it caught us by surprise.

"If he thinks players' safety was a concern, he's right to call it off."

United gaffer Csaba Laszlo said: "The referee made a decision and we have to accept it. The majority of my players heard the news and were very sad.

"But when you see how slippery it is there could have been some injuries and no one wants that."

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Publication:Dumfries and Galloway Standard (Dumfriesshire, Scotland)
Date:Dec 20, 2017
Words:413
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