Carlisle v Yeovil preview
Friday night’s World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and
Russia has been called off after Windsor Park was blanketed in
The match has been rescheduled for 3pm on Saturday but more bad
weather is forecast and another postponement may be on the
Snow covered the pitch overnight and continued to fall
throughout the day, frustrating the efforts of Irish Football
Association staff, who worked tirelessly in an attempt to try and
clear the ground of settled snow.
The snow also forced the closure of the runway at George Best
Belfast City Airport and there were concerns over the safety of
fans travelling to the Northern Ireland match.
Norwegian referee Tom Hagen began a series of inspections at
10am but it always looked unlikely that the match would get the
green light and the decision to postpone the fixture was made at
More bad weather on the way
More bad weather is expected on Friday night and into Saturday,
raising concerns about whether the match will be able to take place
this weekend at all.
Officials will meet at 10.30am on Saturday morning and IFA head
of communications Geoff Wilson said on Friday: “There has to be an
attempt to play the game tomorrow, because FIFA rules say every
effort has to be made to play the game the day after a
“We’re looking to play the game tomorrow but we will have a
briefing session at 10.30am and have another look at the pitch with
“We’re open to the elements here and I think that, if you look
at the elements right now, it probably doesn’t look very positive.
That being said, stranger things have happened.
“We’re on Plan B and there could be a Plan C but, at the moment,
we are focused on getting the game on tomorrow.
“There is a real willingness on both federations to play but,
according to the weather forecast, it is due to be bad today and
for parts of tomorrow.”
Windsor Park, which is home to Irish League outfit Linfield, is
among the more basic on the international circuit, and does not
have any under-soil heating.
Northern Ireland are also due to host Israel on Tuesday but that
game may also be doubtful, with the pitch not likely to be in a
good condition if the Russia match goes ahead.
And Fabio Capello’s Russia side are due to play Brazil in a
friendly at Stamford Bridge on Monday, but now face the prospect of
a one-day break between matches.
Carlisle’s latest signing Mathieu Manset is hoping international
clearance issues will be resolved in time for him to make his debut
against the Glovers.
The ex-Reading forward had hoped to be involved in last week’s
defeat at Leyton Orient, but former club FC Sion have so far
refused to hand over his registration.
Scottish striker Lee Miller is available again after sitting out
a three-game ban for his recent red card at Notts County and is
hoping to go straight back into the starting line-up.
The Cumbrians will be without suspended goalkeeper Mark
Gillespie following his dismissal for two yellow cards in midweek,
so Adam Collin will make his first start since early December.
Manager Greg Abbott has hinted he may go without a substitute
goalkeeper on the bench as the Cumbrians chase only their second
win in nine league matches.
Yeovil will be without captain Jamie McAllister when they make
the long trip to Carlisle looking to get back to winning ways.
Glovers boss Gary Johnson was disappointed with his side’s
display in their televised 2-0 defeat to Swindon on Tuesday night,
a performance which deteriorated after the loss of their
McAllister, who had been having painkilling injections in his
ankle in recent matches, limped off four minutes after half-time
but he had already picked up his 10th booking of the season which
rules him out of Yeovil’s next two matches.
“We had to give him a rest anyway, he had been having these
injections and we knew we would have to give him a rest for the
next couple of games and he has that anyway now with the 10th
yellow card,” Johnson said.
“We will have to deal without him which is a shame as without
him we don’t seem half the team.”
One player who will now walk a disciplinary tightrope is Byron
Webster who looks likely to feature despite being on nine yellow
cards, one away from joining his captain in the stands.