Encouraging forecast for Pompey travellers

Carlisle United's Brunton Park
Carlisle United's Brunton Park

Carlisle remain confident travelling Pompey fans won’t have a wasted journey to Brunton Park.

The pitch was under 12-14 inches of water at the start of the week following battering storms.

However, remarkably by Tuesday night they were able to host an FA Youth Cup fixture against Doncaster Rovers.

The use of five pumps enabled the flooding to be removed over a six-and-a-half hour period.

Since then the pitch has managed to withstand more rain, although not in the quantities which previously hit the area.

And the club are adamant any of the Fratton faithful making the long trip will get to see a football match on Saturday.

Andy Hall, Carlisle’s media officer, said: ‘The pitch is perfect, they have been cutting the grass this morning as well.

‘We had a bit of rain during and after the Doncaster match, which was bit of a concern and had us taking deep breaths.

‘Yet come yesterday morning, although there was no sunshine, it was dry and crisp with the pitch fully recovered.

‘The Doncaster match went into extra-time, which we then won, but the pitch didn’t cut up and remains absolutely perfect.

‘Our playing surface underwent remedial work in the summer and, with the way it has been constructed, with its natural drainage system, it dries out very quickly.

‘We had an industrial pump to join the four pumps on Monday to help us remove water over six-and--a-half hours, which worked extremely well.

‘Looking at the weather, it is forecast more for a chill rather than too much rain, it looks like Hurricane Barney has touched the outside of our area.

‘So we have no worries about the game taking place whatsoever.’

Paul Cook’s side this morning left their Hilsea training ground to begin the long trip to Carlisle by coach.

They will tomorrow train in the area, with both grass and artificial surfaces to choose from.

The Blues will then return by coach straight after the Brunton Park fixture.

To add to the busy schedule, Pompey are to host York at Fratton Park on Tuesday night (7.45pm).

They then take the considerably shorter trip to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.

Pompey last season drew 2-2 at Carlisle on Good Friday, in April.