REFEREE Tom Crashley admitted he had no choice but to call off the Bulls' game against London Skolars.

The match official made the call after a pitch inspection at Odsal first thing on Saturday morning to save the visitors having to travel.

Despite the best efforts from the Bulls to beat the icy weather, a check on the playing surface left Crashley with no alternative but to announce the postponement.

He said: "The main concern is how hard the pitch is. The covers seemed to have done a smashing job with the majority of places we looked at but there are still sections that are hard.

"Obviously, we could have come back again when the covers were fully off to have another look. But with London travelling, it was probably not worth the risk.

"You've got to consider player and fan safety. We don't want people falling and slipping over.

"From the players' point of view, certain areas of the pitch were not taking a stud. I tried a key as well but that couldn't go in either.

"I was happy with what the ground safety officer put forward, (in terms of) clearing and gritting the rest of the stadium. But there were just areas of the pitch that were too hard.

"I know the weather forecast was to improve slightly but probably not enough to melt the areas that we were concerned about. The pitch was not going to be good enough."

The Bulls explained that the covers they had on the pitch could protect against temperatures as low as minus four degrees but that one corner was still causing concern.

The club were understandably disappointed to miss out on their first home game of the League One season but stadium manager Mark Leadbeater backed the official's decision.

He said: "The safety of our supporters is paramount. It always has been.

"We had everything planned, the snow ploughs and gritters were planned going forward. Unfortunately, we've just not managed to get the pitch ready.

"I'd like to thank the ground staff who have worked really hard to try and get the game on. It's just unfortunate that certain parts were frozen.

"We've got to look after everybody. I've been at this club for five years and we've always made sure our supporters are safe.

"Obviously, the match officials have to check all the areas. It's not down to the stadium, it's the pitch."