Date: 8th December 2007 at 6:23pm
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Wednesday fans were left jeering on the half hour mark – but at the officials’ decision to abandon the clash due to a waterlogged pitch rather than the Owls’ performance.

There had been heavy rain in S6 since Thursday, and referee Graham Laws called time on the clash with the Sky Blues after just 28 minutes after fear of the players’ safety.

The Hillsborough pitch had of course taken a battering in the summer following the floods in South Yorkshire, and there were signs of what was to come on entry into the ground, with the section of pitch nearest the South Stand Kop end looking more like a Sunday morning football pitch than a Championship one.

Both sides tried to play their football in the opening minutes, but the mud stopped any flowing football, with passes being cut short and players running in to trouble with some late challenges.

And it was one such challenge on the Owls’ Wade Small which called the referee to talk with Brian Laws and Iain Dowie before calling an early end to proceedings.

And the Owls’ gaffer was confident the right decision was made.

Laws told the official SWFC site: ‘You look at the conditions and they were getting worse and worse. Both sides like to play football and that wasn’t conducive to good football. The ball was just going from back to front and one mistake could have lead to a goal.

‘More importantly, though, someone could have got hurt and no one wants to see that.’

And referee Graham Laws, no relation to Brian, made it clear that although he appreciated the fans turning out and being disappointed at the game being called off, he had to have the players’ safety first and foremost.

‘As well as the ball not moving freely, which is of immediate concern to the referee, the surface was starting actually moving under your feet,’ he said.

‘I wasn’t happy with them even running around on it. With all those factors in mind, we’ve made a decision which we don’t take lightly.

‘I appreciate people pay a lot of money to go and watch a game of football. But entertainment-wise, it’s got to be right for them and it’s also got to be fair.

‘I thought it was reaching the point when it was going to turn quite farcical, to be honest.’

The club will announce another date for the replay of the clash as soon as possible, and will release details of how to get tickets through the local media.