United's eyes look to the skies with Charlton game in doubt

Deane Smalley gets in a cross at the Valley in August, when Oxford United lost 4-0 in the Capital One Cup. The U’s will be out for revenge when the teams lock horns again in the FA Cup

Deane Smalley gets in a cross at the Valley in August, when Oxford United lost 4-0 in the Capital One Cup. The U’s will be out for revenge when the teams lock horns again in the FA Cup

First published in Headlines
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

Oxford United are anxiously awaiting news from Charlton Athletic this morning after doubts surfaced about tomorrow’s FA Cup tie going ahead.

A pitch inspection has been set up for 11am at The Valley amid concerns the third-round tie could be thwarted by a waterlogged pitch.

Constantine Hatzidakis, a Football League assistant referee who is affiliated to the Kent FA and lives locally, could postpone the game more than 24 hours before kick-off if conditions are bad enough.

The playing surface was heavy in Charlton’s games during the Christmas period and further rain was forecast for this morning and for most of Saturday.

A postponement would be hugely frustrating for United, whose New Year’s Day clash at Newport County was washed out.

That game will have to be rearranged for a Tuesday night later in the season, along with the trip to Bury, which was scheduled for tomorrow and had to be cancelled due to United’s involvement in the FA Cup.

The squad have also experienced it earlier in their cup run, when the first-round replay at Gateshead was called off just before kick-off.

Deane Smalley does not want to lose another game to the weather and the striker is wary about it leading to fixture congestion.

He said: “We had it with Gateshead, although I wasn’t involved with the game that was called off.

“It wasn’t ideal having to go there again, so hopefully it will be on and we can get it out of the way.

“Otherwise there will be a build-up of fixtures, like there will be with the Newport game.”

United have already visited The Valley this season, losing 4-0 in the Capital One Cup first round last August.

Smalley does not believe the result will have any bearing on the meeting in the FA Cup and even thinks the heavy pitch could end up helping the chances of a shock.

He said: “We’ve got to go there and put it right, we obviously don’t want the same (outcome) again.

“It’s a different competition and there will be different personnel.

“I’ve heard the pitch isn’t the best, so that might suit us a little bit.

“They passed us off the park in the second half, so with a dodgy pitch it might even itself out a little bit.”

Comments (0)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree