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Imps game off after hotel sauna fire

Lincoln City fire
Lincoln were unable to get their kit from their hotel following the fire

Lincoln City's Conference game at Eastleigh was postponed following a fire at the Imps' hotel.

An explosion in the sauna at the Hilton Southampton meant the players could not collect their boots and shinpads.

The game was originally delayed by an hour before being postponed.

Lincoln posted on their Twitter account: "Can only apologise to fans who have travelled but all in hands of fire brigade. All players' boots etc in rooms which we can't enter."

A club statement from Eastleigh read: "The fire broke out at the Hilton Hotel in Chilworth at 11.16am.

"Crews of 55 firefighters from eight stations across the Southampton area have been tackling the flames which are thought to have started in the hotel's sauna.

"Ambulances and police have also been arriving on the scene."

Lincoln players waiting in car park
Lincoln tweeted earlier: "Pre-match preps interrupted due to fire alarms going off at hotel. Tactic talk in car park imminent..."

Lincoln City general manager John Vickers told BBC Radio Lincolnshire the team's playing kit was already at Eastleigh's Ten Acres ground.

"It was all out of our control," he said. "We were just about to sit down for the pre-match meal and chat and the alarms went off.

"It's very frustrating for all parties, not least the fans who have made the long trek down. But safety comes first and you've got to listen to the advice being given to you by the fire brigade.

"The kit was already at the ground but it was items like boots, shinpads, keeper's gear, medical equipment for the physios that were inside.

"It's not just a case of popping down to the nearest sports shop and buying a pair of boots. We're a professional football club and we've got to prepare professionally."

Eastleigh boss Richard Hill added to BBC Radio Solent: "It's nobody's fault and common sense has prevailed.

"It's happened, you can't change it, you have to deal with it and it gives the lads a little chance of a rest.

"I have no problem with what has happened today."

No new date has yet been set for the game to be played.

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