ROCHDALE boss Robbie Stockdale had sympathy for his club's supporters after their game at Colchester United was called off just half an hour before the scheduled kick-off.

Referee Craig Hicks deemed the JobServe Community Stadium surface to be unplayable at around 2.30pm on Saturday afternoon, after conducting a second pitch inspection prior to the League Two clash.

Many Dale supporters - along with their U's counterparts - were already at the ground when the decision was made to call the fixture off.

And after the majority of Rochdale followers had made a four-hour-plus trip down to North Essex for the game, manager Stockdale said he was frustrated for the fans.

Stockdale said: "It was a really tough one for the referee.

"You try to predict the future a little bit with the weather and it did look like it was probably going to rain again.

"We did give it the best possible chance by pushing the decision back half an hour.

"I was prepared to push it back maybe a little bit further but there were time constraints and everything else, around the stadium.


"I suppose time will tell whether it was the right decision and whether we get the rain.

"It was frustrating, especially for our supporters who didn't find out the game might be in doubt until they got here at 1.30pm.

"I find that a little bit frustrating to say the least, because our supporters had a long journey down and if they'd have been given a couple of hours' extra notice they might have delayed their trip a little bit.

"That's the upsetting bit from my point of view but there is one side of the pitch that's boggy and wet and that could be a danger to the players."

Rochdale now face a trip back down to Essex to face Colchester later in the season, with the rearranged fixture likely to take place on a Tuesday night.

Stockdale added: "You have to get on with it - that's the nature of the beast at the minute.

"It's our fourth game on the bounce called off.

"It's not ideal by any stretch of the imagination but it just means that we've got a long, long trip down to Colchester on a Tuesday night now probably."