Football: FA Cup hit by onset of winter

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WINTER MADE its presence felt for the first time in sport south of the border yesterday, with two out of three FA Cup replays being postponed and racing losing meetings at Newcastle and Leicester.

Scotland, which had eight League and Cup games postponed at the weekend, had another three matches called off yesterday as England also caught a cold. Yeovil and Cardiff managed to keep the Cup alive in Somerset, but Barnsley's third-round replay against Swindon Town fell victim to a frozen pitch. This will have brought home to the First Division club the value of the undersoil heating they have yet to complete at Oakwell. Pipework was laid in the summer, with the boiler due to be added when the Kop stand is rebuilt later this year.

The Cup tie, which has the reward of a home game against Bournemouth for the winners, has been rescheduled for next Tuesday.

Notts County's replay against Sheffield United was called off after the waterlogged Meadow Lane pitch failed a lunchtime inspection. The match will now be played next Wednesday.

Only Lingfield's all-weather track escaped the snow and frost yesterday and punters have already been denied a flutter at Sedgefield today. Two meetings remain - at Wolverhampton's all-weather track and Kempton.