Newport County match to go ahead despite pitch problems

Rodney Parade

Newport County's home League Two game against Northampton will go ahead as scheduled despite problems with the Rodney Parade pitch.

Their last two home games have been postponed - Oxford United and Wimbledon AFC - because of a waterlogged pitch.

The match referee made an initial pitch inspection at 09:00 GMT on Saturday and then a further inspection at lunchtime.

No further significant rain fell on the pitch on Saturday morning to help ensure the match goes ahead.

The ground-staff worked hard late into Friday night and were in early on Saturday morning to continue their efforts in making the pitch playable

The club had been worried the Football League would be in touch if a third game in succession was lost to the weather.

"I think there will be raised eyebrows and concern should we lose Saturday's game," chief executive Dave Boddy had said on Friday.

"We haven't had any contact from them [the FA] as yet."

The Football League has said it has not reached a stage where it is concerned about the situation at Rodney Parade.

A league spokesperson said: "The Football League constantly monitors the play surfaces at all 72 clubs across our competitions.

"Postponed matches can be an unfortunate occurrence when areas of the country experience extreme weather conditions.

"Match officials will take decisions at each game based on the particular conditions at the ground concerned."

Work to improve drainage under the ground's pitch could not be finished before the start of the season and is scheduled to be completed in May.

Rugby sides Newport Gwent Dragons and Newport RFC also play at the ground.

But Boddy said there were other games apart from their match against Oxford United postponed on New Year's Day.

"Most of the games in the south-west were called off - Exeter, Yeovil and Bristol Rovers. The weather was fairly horrendous," he said.

"Fingers-crossed we will have some luck with the weather and we will get away with it," added Boddy, who confirmed the club had invested in extra drainage equipment.

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