Blue Square Bet
Published 13th February 2012
.....scheduled matches were postponed on Saturday.
Their match at home to Wrexham was called off after an inspection carried out on Saturday morning.
Despite the efforts of a small band of volunteers who have cleared the playing surface at The Northern Echo Arena of snow, the pitch was considered frozen and the weather has also put paid to their contingency plan.
Craig Liddle's `Plan B` was to play a friendly on Durham City's artificial surface, but that has also been declared unplayable.
The 3G surface at New Ferens Park can usually be relied upon no matter what the weather. The previous Saturday the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North side were the only senior North-East club able to stage a game.
One the same day Darlington played a friendly with Spennymoor Town on a 3G surface at East Durham College in Peterlee after their match at Mansfield Town was postponed.
"We need to be playing football and keeping ourselves ticking over because there's another game on Tuesday," said Liddle, who had planned to use a mixture of youth and first-team players for no more than 45 minutes each had the friendly at Durham gone ahead.
"The easy option is to give them the weekend off but I'm not a big fan of that because I think we need some kind of continuity and playing games on a Saturday is what they're paid to do. Or what they're supposed to be paid to do.
"So if there's no game I like to arrange something to keep them in a routine."
During last week Darlington used East Durham College's facilities.
Liddle said: "We've got a strong link with the college as I've got a development squad at the college that I set up last season. The under-16s that we don't take go into that college. We keep an eye on the boys there and they can always come back to us if we want them to.
"The college has been a massive help and help us to prepare for the game. On Tuesday the pitch was no good because it was covered in snow.
"We were on the 3G pitch on Thursday as we were trying to prepare for Saturday as best we could."
Darlington are now scheduled to be without a home game until March 3rd when Stockport County are the opposition. Luton Town's visit to the North-East on February 25th will be rearranged as they are in FA Trophy action.
A trip to Southport on Tuesday is Quakers' next game followed by a trip to Alfreton Town this coming Saturday and then the rearranged game at Mansfield four days later.