RUNCORN FC Halton have slammed the referee's decision to go ahead with Tuesday's league game at Farsley Celtic, which was called off at half-time.
With areas of the pitch frozen even before kick-off, manager Steve Carragher and secretary Alan Jones felt player safety had been compromised.
Carragher said the penalty areas and the centre circle were unfit from the outset.
Jones also pointed to a six-yard strip the full length of one touchline which was iced over.
It is the second time this season, the Linnets have been unable to complete a game - a UniBond League Challenge Cup home tie against Ashton United suffering a similar fate.
'The difference was when we kicked off that night the ground was soft and when we started tonight it was hard,' added the secretary. 'It shouldn't have been played.'
The Linnets are to contact the league to check out where they stand with reimbursement of travelling expenses.
If Runcorn can take any consolation, they were trailing 1-0 when the abandonment came - albeit very much against the run of play. The illfated first of three consecutive meetings against the high-flying York-shire opponents at least gave them a chance to get Saturday's 4-0 defeat out of the system.
It also showed they have nothing to fear against promotion-chasing Farsley, who they now entertain in the reverse Premier Division fixture this Saturday - before returning to Throstle Nest for the league Challenge Cup semi-final a week later.
'After Saturday's result, playing Farsley three times in 11 days - especially with the final game being the cup-tie - could have been quite daunting,' admitted Carragher.
'But Tuesday's performance was one of the best if not the best of the season, although it only lasted the 45 minutes.'
But scoring remains a big problem - the Linnets having again failed to break the deadlock, after being goalless in their previous five league games.
Carragher added: 'We went back to a 4-4-2 and created a couple of chances and didn't take them.
'The fans have been great to us all season and the players do appreciate it. We just apologise to them for the display against Matlock.'
Colin Flood declared himself fit for the abandoned game across the Pennines - the Everton FC coach having had intensive treatment on a calf injury suffered in training on Thursday.
Meanwhile, striker Paul Rogers did well on his first start and 20-year-old ex-Chester City and Colwyn Bay winger Andy McCoy impressed on debut.
'Andy is fast and also has good feet,' added Carragher. 'He just needs a couple more games to get his match fitness up.'
Paddy O'Driscoll (cartilage) will be out for 'at least a couple of weeks'.
Central defensive colleague Lee Siadankay now starts a four-game suspension but has been struggling anyway with back and hamstring trouble.
Mark Phillips and Chris Fitzsimmons switched to centre back at Farsley, where there was also a recall in left midfield for James Locke.
RUNCORN: Holcroft, Hunter, Flood, Phillips, Fitzsimmons, Bowden, McCoy, Scott, Furlong, Rogers, Locke. Subs: Moore, Whalley, Lamb.