YORK City are hoping the club’s pitch covers will save this afternoon’s home match with Aldershot from being postponed.
Despite freezing conditions, the Bootham Crescent surface was deemed playable yesterday at 10am by York-based Football League official Alfie Greenwood.
Matchday referee Trevor Kettle, who travelled from Berkshire to York yesterday afternoon, was expected to carry out a second inspection on the pitch today at 9am to assess whether its condition has since deteriorated.
The covers have been protecting the pitch since Monday and were kept in place last night.
And, despite York City Knights’ pre-season friendly against Hunslet at Huntington Stadium being frozen off and the League Two fixtures at Accrington Stanley, Port Vale, Rochdale, Southend and Torquay all being KO’d yesterday, Minstermen officials remained optimistic that the game would go ahead.
Aldershot made the decision to travel north for an overnight stay following Greenwood’s assessment. Said City’s communications director Sophie Hicks: “The groundsman Wayne Simpson and his assistant Kevin Russell have continued to work hard and have constantly monitored the pitch over the course of the last week.
“A decision was made to put the covers on the pitch on Monday and the fact that the pitch was still playable on Friday morning is testimony to their advanced preparation and the success of the covers. We will continue to keep our fans updated through The Press website and on our official website on any further news.” Should the game be postponed today City will need to reimburse Aldershot for their travelling expenses and would lose out on possible hospitality revenue, while catering costs would also not be recovered.
There would also be cash flow implications. Unless there is a swift rearrangement, City will go almost a month without a home fixture. Their last was against Exeter on January 5 and their next is scheduled for February 2 when Morecambe are the visitors to Bootham Crescent.
First-year professional Tom Platt meanwhile, has joined FC Halifax Town on a month’s loan.
Midfielder Platt has previously enjoyed two loan spells at Halifax’s Blue Square North rivals Harrogate Town, where he scored ten goals in 22 matches.