Carlisle United’s home game with Leyton Orient will now kick off at the earlier time of 2.30pm on Tuesday 9 February as the club looks to do everything it can to beat the current bad weather.
With temperatures due to drop significantly on Tuesday evening, discussions between the clubs and with the EFL have brought an agreement that the fixture will have a much earlier start, with the new kick off time set to coincide with the period when the playing surface will be in its best condition.
Club secretary Sarah McKnight said: “We had a match official come up from Blackpool this afternoon and he took a look at the pitch with Gav Skelton and Dave Mitchell.
“It was in a very good condition and, with the weather pattern forecast to be similar tomorrow, it made sense to us to look at the possibility with the EFL of an afternoon kick off, particularly with Leyton Orient heading north today.
“The last thing either club wants is another postponement, particularly with free midweek slots between now and the end of the season running out, and the EFL have been really understanding about that.
“We understand that it is extremely rare for midweek games to kick off earlier in this manner, but in the current weather conditions it makes complete sense and will give us the best chance of getting this important fixture played.”
“Obviously this will not be ideal for supporters who will now not be able to watch the game on iFollow, for a number of personal reasons,” media officer Andy Hall said.
“But we think our fans will understand the reasoning behind the decision and the importance of us getting our fixtures played.
“Anyone who has purchased a match pass, but who will now not be able to watch the game, should email email@example.com where a refund will be issued.”
An EFL spokesman said: “The rearrangement of the fixture was at the participating clubs’ request in a bid to fulfil the fixture at what is a challenging time in respect of fixture scheduling.
“An afternoon kick-off gives the best chance of the pitch being playable as temperatures will drop once the daylight runs out.
“For those who have purchased an iFollow pass but can no longer watch the fixture, they’re advised to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a full refund.
“The same process applies for those who have purchased a match pass through Leyton Orient, however supporters would need to contact OZONELIVE@STREAMAMG.COM.”
Carlisle United v Leyton Orient, Tuesday 9 February, kick off 2.30pm