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Saturday, January 3, 2009
Sub-zero temperatures claim four FA Cup ties

Sub-zero overnight temperatures forced the postponement of four FA Cup third-round ties on Saturday.

Birmingham's local derby with Wolves was the highest-profile match to be postponed due to a frozen pitch while non-league Histon's tie at home to Swansea and Cheltenham v Doncaster were also called off for the same reason.

Sheffield United's third-round clash at Leyton Orient was postponed less than two hours before kick-off, also due to a frozen pitch.

A statement from Birmingham said: ''The covers on the St Andrews pitch coped with freezing cold conditions all week.

''But extreme temperatures of between minus six and minus eight degrees overnight on Friday and into Saturday morning led to the freeze and the game being called off by referee Howard Webb following an 11.45am pitch inspection, on the grounds of concerns over player safety.''

No rearranged dates have been announced for the cup matches.

Several other matches have been called off including Carlisle v Walsall, Hereford v Leeds, Brighton v Northampton and Colchester v Tranmere in League One, leaving Huddersfield v Oldham the only match to go ahead in the division today.

In League Two, Chester v Luton, Morecambe v Lincoln, Barnet v Grimsby, Aldershot v Notts County and Exeter v Port Vale were all off due to a frozen pitch.

Various Blue Square Premier and Scottish league matches were also postponed.

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