U's cup tie washed out

Last Updated: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 21:28
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Gateshead's FA Cup first-round replay with Oxford was called off due to a waterlogged pitch at Gateshead International Stadium.

Referee Paul Tierney declared the pitch unplayable approximately an hour before kick-off and the match will be rescheduled for the first week of December with the winners travelling to Wrexham.

Gateshead general manager Mike Coulson, who confirmed no discussion had yet gone ahead as to whether the re-arranged match will be televised, said: "It started raining late afternoon. The referee had a look at the pitch as soon as he arrived, and there was not a great deal of standing water then.

"Fifteen minutes later, it was obvious the pitch was about to become waterlogged. We looked up the weather forecast and saw it wasn't going to stop raining at all until midnight.

"After a further inspection, the referee took the decision, correctly in my view, to postpone the match.

"I have been in touch with the Football Association about the situation. I can confirm the game will be replayed the week beginning December 2, with the date to be confirmed."

At the first time of asking, League Two leaders Oxford required a last-gasp equaliser from Danny Rose to deny the non-leaguers a famous win at the Kassam Stadium - the U's recovering from 2-0 down to rescue a 2-2 draw.

"It's devastating for this football club," said Gateshead boss Gary Mills. "Everyone has worked so hard knowing that we had the replay, the pitch was looking fantastic and then the weather does this, I'm gutted."

Oxford manager Chris Wilder said: "It looks like it's the sensible decision. I'm from the north so I'm used to this weather but I think it's surprised a few of the lads from down south!"

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