U's appeal for fans to help dig for victory

COLCHESTER United have issued an SOS call to their fans to clear the Weston Homes Community Stadium pitch of snow ahead of next Monday's home game against Southampton.

COLCHESTER United have issued an SOS call to their fans to clear the Weston Homes Community Stadium pitch of snow ahead of next Monday's home game against Southampton.

The U's scheduled home game against Carlisle United last Saturday was postponed over 24 hours before kick-off after the Essex club's stadium was at the epicentre of heavy snow fall in the eastern region on Thursday night.

Temperatures have barely got above freezing since then and, as a result, the Essex club's playing surface remains buried under several inches of snow.

The fear is now that the snow, once defrosted, will leave the pitch with a waterlogging problem - especially if there is more snow or rain fall over the next few days.


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Colchester's head groundsman David Blacknall has admitted he is already worrying about the U's next home game against Southampton next Monday.

And although the U's could use Essex County Cricket Club's waterhog device to remove any standing surface water left on the pitch, the club wants to take no chances and has called upon its supporters to lend a hand.

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Volunteers have been asked to come along to the stadium at any time between 10am and 3pm today or tomorrow to help clear the pitch of snow. They are asked to bring suitable clearing equipment where possible, while stadium operations manager Sean McQuaid will organise proceedings.

Yesterday a number of the club's youth team players did their bit by helping with the clearing process.

Meanwhile, Colchester have a Boxing Day trip to Essex rivals Southend United to worry about first. The Shrimpers are also dealing with their own weather related problems at present after suffering a power outage at Roots Hall yesterday.

Over 1,300 U's fans have already bought their tickets for Saturday's festive League One derby fixture and there are still away tickets available for this match. Ticket sales at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, both in the club shop and over the phones, will cease at 5pm tomorrow, however they will be continue up until 8.30pm at the U's Central shop in Colchester's town centre.

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