HARTLEPOOL United suffered their second freeze-off in ten days when yesterday's clash with Scunthorpe was postponed.

After their visit to Bristol Rovers was abandoned just 12 minutes into the game, referee Mike Pike called off yesterday's game 75 minutes before kick-off with the Victoria Park surface frozen in places.

Despite the goalmouths being covered overnight, the plummeting temperatures meant Pool lost out on what would likely have been their biggest home gate of the season.

"I came to the conclusion that the pitch wasn't safe, and that the game shouldn't go ahead," said Pike. "My major concern was the safety of the players."

Pool boss Chris Turner was left bemused by the decision and admitted: "Brian Laws came, looked at the pitch, wasn't happy and put an element of doubt in the referees' mind.

"He put a pair of boots on a tried it out with a ball and decided that the pitch wasn't fit.

"It's very frustrating - we would have had well over 4,000 in here - but there is nothing we can do about it.

"It's very disruptive because we are in a good vein of form at present and now it's stop-start.

"We had been looking for 12 points over Christmas to really make a move on the top places, but now we have to readjust our sights.

"From our point of view, the club did everything to get the game on and we wanted the game on. My opinion is that I thought that the game could have gone ahead.''

Scunthorpe boss Brian Laws said: "What I can't understand is why I got a phone call at 1.30 asking me to look at the pitch when the referee had passed it at 12.00!

"When I looked at it, I asked if he had tested the pitch with boots and a ball and he said no.

"When he did try to run and turn on it he slipped, which wasn't a good sign as far as I was concerned."

The club's have yet to fix a new date for the game - but January 5 is a no go. Pool have a free date as opponents Darlington are still in the FA Cup, but Scunthorpe meet Millwall in the third round.