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BBC Sport's John Murray
"No one in the main stand knew the First Division team had scored"
 real 14k

Match referee Peter Walton
"I couldn't see both goals"
 real 14k

banner Tuesday, 16 January, 2001, 22:24 GMT
Fog causes FA Cup havoc

Notts County and Wimbledon battle it out in thick fog
The FA Cup third round replay between Notts County and Wimbledon descended into farce as thick fog forced the match to be abandoned six minutes into the second half.

The scores were level at 1-1 when thick fog rolling in from the River Trent forced referee Peter Walton to call the game off.

Wimbledon had equalised just seconds before proceedings were halted although, with visibility down to just a few yards, it was not clear if Walton had even seen the goal.


"It was becoming really farcical
  Referee Peter Walton
The Second Division underdogs had taken a 1-0 first half lead through a strike from Richard Liburd.

Liburd sprung the Dons offside trap and took one touch before calmly flicking the ball past keeper Kelvin Davis after 20 minutes.

Fog forced BBC Five Live to halt their live match commentary as it became impossible to see from one side of the pitch to another.

A yellow ball was even introduced, but to no avail.

Referee Walton explained his decision to BBC Live Live: "It was becoming really farcical. I couldn't see both goals from the middle; I couldn't see the active linesman and most importantly, the players couldn't see each other."

Wimbledon boss Terry Burton felt the referee had made the right decision to call the game off.

He said: "I was a bit surprised the referee decided to start the second half, but I guess it made it easier for him to abandon the game after we had scored.


We had done enough to give us the confidence to believe we could go on and win it,
  Jocky Scott
Meanwhile, Notts County boss Jocky Scott felt his side had the upper hand at the interval and could take plenty of positives out of the 51 minutes which were played.

He said: "We had done well in the first half, adapted much better to the conditions than they did, got the ball down and played it when we had chance and caused them problems.

"We had done enough to give us the confidence to believe we could go on and win it, but we knew they were going to come at us after the break."

Scunthorpe's frozen pitch

The referee allowed play to continue long enough for the Dons to equalise through Dean Blackwell. But it was academic. Both goals will now be expunged from the record books.

The two teams are likely to try again next week, with the prospect of a trip to Middlesbrough awaiting in the fourth round.

It was an altogether unromantic night for the FA Cup, with the Scunthorpe v Burnley replay called off less than hour before the scheduled 19.45 kick-off due to a frozen pitch.

There was also unrest in the Cardiff City camp at the state of the pitch at Crewe, who now play Stockport after a 2-1 victory.

Wycombe Wanderers overcame the freezing conditions at Grimsby with a memorable 3-1 win which earns them a home tie against Wolves.

The freezing weather also played havoc with several other fixtures on Tuesday night.

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See also:

16 Jan 01 |  FA Cup
Laws upset with postponement
16 Jan 01 |  FA Cup
Rivers puts Crewe through
16 Jan 01 |  FA Cup
Wycombe to meet Wolves
17 Jan 01 |  Photo Galleries
FA Cup chaos - in pictures
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