CAMBRIDGE GAME ON
Game on after 10am pitch inspection
MANSFIELD: PITCH PLAYABLE
cambridge-united.co.uk, Mon 27 Dec 2010, 1pm
Tomorrow's scheduled game against Mansfield Town at the R Costings Abbey Stadium (28 December) is set to go ahead following a pitch inspection today by a local referee.
Keith Hill has been and inspected the R Costings Abbey Stadium pitch and confirmed that, if the game was at 3pm today, it would go ahead and the pitch is playable. However, with the possibility of overnight snow there will be a further precautionary pitch inspection at 10am tomorrow on the day of the game.
Jez George, Director of Football, told the website, "As usual, Ian and his staff have done a fantastic job in getting the pitch playable despite the recent bad weather. Ian, Mick and the volunteers have been here since 6am this morning working on the pitch and we are now really hopeful, through their hard work, that the game will go ahead.
"Our last game was on December 11 and am sure the supporters have been missing their football and looking to get out the house after Christmas, so we urge as many as possible to come along and support the team for this game, and the Histon match on 1 January."
Supporters are advised to check the website before setting off.
Snow problem! Volunteers praised for clearing Abbey pitch
cambridge-news.co.uk, by Aaron Mason, 28 Dec 2010
Ian Darler and his team have cleared the Abbey pitch of snowCambridge United groundsman Ian Darler has praised volunteers who helped him shift 200 tons of snow from the R Costings Abbey pitch to stage today's Blue Square Bet Premier match against Mansfield.
The club were optimistic the match would go ahead, although a 10am inspection was planned, with possible snow forecast last night.
Local referee Keith Hill passed the pitch playable yesterday after Darler and five others had cleared the snow.
"Keith said if the game was at 3pm yesterday, he would have played it," said Darler.
"We shifted about 200 tons of snow in the morning. We started before 6am and the volunteers worked remarkably well, and to get that amount of snow shifted is a tribute to them."
Meanwhile, United manager Martin Ling believes his squad has passed a test of festive temptation to be a lean machine going into the New Year.
Ling is confident his players resisted the urge to let themselves go with the turkey and trimmings after their scheduled Boxing Day derby at Histon was called off on Christmas Eve because the pitch was frozen.
Ling said a system of fines should have been enough to ensure none of the squad would face a battle of the bulge.
He said: "We weigh the players every Monday and fat test them once a month. None of my players are flabby, there's not an ounce of fat on them. All my players work within a weight range that we think is right for a footballer and the old regime of putting weight on over Christmas doesn't happen anymore.
"There's a fine system in place, not just at this football club, but at every football club for probably the last 10 years."
Ling said he did not expect his players to be counting every last calorie over Christmas, but expected them to hold back on the booze.
He said: "The players are allowed to have a nice Christmas dinner and I wouldn't even mind them having a glass of wine with their meal.
"It's when you start going to bottles of wine that you have the problem."
United can keep Stags at bay - Ling
cambridge-news.co.uk, by Aaron Mason, 27 Dec 2010
Martin Ling believes Cambridge United will avoid an unwanted double at home to Mansfield tomorrow - weather permitting.
United suffered a 1-0 defeat at Field Mill in August and will go into the game having not played for two-and-a-half weeks after yesterday's scheduled Blue Square Bet Premier derby at Histon was called off because of a frozen pitch.
But Ling, who could stick with an unchanged line-up from that 2-1 win at home to Forest Green in the FA Trophy despite the likes of Brian Saah and former Stags' striker Daryl Clare being back in contention, is confident United will avoid any pitfalls if the match beats the big freeze, with a pitch inspection set to take place today if needed.
Ling said: "Two things have happened since we last played them. They've got a new manager and now they're better away from home than they are their own ground.
"I think the top three slots in the league are taken, but ourselves and Mansfield are two of a dozen teams that could take the other two, so they are one of our competitors.
"With a change in manager, even though he was the assistant manager before, you don't know if the ethos and thinking in the team will have changed.
"Sometimes a new manager can make changes or tinker with it, but I wouldn't expect mass changes. I'm sure they'll be competitive."
team news, from BBC.co.uk:
Cambridge United boss Martin Ling has no new injury or suspension worries ahead of the visit of Mansfield Town.
Strike duo Wayne Gray and Conal Platt should be available after recovering from a sickness bug.
Mansfield will be without Lee Gregory, following the 21-year-old striker's Christmas Eve move to AFC Halifax.
Defender Steve Foster and midfielder Steven Istead return from suspension while top scorer Paul Connor (calf) is rated as doubtful.
From the Cambridge United messageboard:
chrisvessey (CUFC website and matchday programme contributor) has posted the following on 26 Dec 2010, 07:19 PM
"I've just interviewed Simon Russell for the matchday programme on NYD and he said they were at the club today after training, had a look under the covers and the ground is absolutely frozen solid, and would be very surprised if it's on.
I guess the only hope is a drastic rise in temprature the next 36 hours."
CAMBRIDGE PITCH FROZEN
Cambridge match update
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 23 Dec 2010
Cambridge United are hopeful that our match on December 28th will go ahead as planned.
The pitch at the Abbey Stadium is currently clear of snow but still frozen and the groundstaff remain positive that the fixture will still go ahead.
Should a pitch inspection be required, it will take place on Monday 27th December and mansfieldtown.net will keep you fully updated.
GRIMSBY AWAY GAME ALL TICKET --->
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