Chris Beech said a possible frozen pitch as well as floodlight failure had put Carlisle United’s latest trip to Harrogate Town in peril.

The Blues must return to north Yorkshire a THIRD time after a power cut hit the EnviroVent Stadium last night.

The match was called off at 7pm – the time it had been due to kick off.

It came just two weeks after the original scheduled fixture had lasted just eight minutes before being abandoned because of a frozen pitch.

Beech, speaking outside the ground after the latest postponement, said there had been concerns over the surface a second time at a time the floodlight issue had plunged the game into doubt.

“I was here at 5pm, the chap on the door said, ‘Who are you?’, I said I was Chris Beech the Carlisle manager – and just as I said that all the lights popped out,” Beech said.

“I thought, ‘Here we go again’.

“I think Simon Weaver, the Harrogate manager, knows someone who works as an electrician and they were promised it would be back on at 6.30pm.

“The ref, though, said [it was a concern] due to the weather if it passes 7pm.

“We got the teamsheets in at normal time, but players need 40 minutes to get changed and warm up.

“He just called it at 7pm and said job done, we’ll all have to go home. He said, ‘I can’t inspect a pitch in the dark, but if the lights do come on it’s likely to be called off due to a frozen pitch’.

“When the ref got here, he did [initially] say he’d probably give it til 8.30-45pm, but his concern was looking at the temperature – it was colder than the night it got called off, and there’s an area in front of the dugout where there’s no grass…and because the electricity wasn’t working, they couldn’t use the heat lamps they used last time.”

Harrogate blamed the floodlight issue on "a local power outage affecting over 2,500 properties in the surrounding area".

The club added: "We were informed by Northern Power Grid that power may not be restored fully until 10.30pm this evening, meaning the fixture could not go ahead."

United’s players had waited on the team coach as the floodlight problem was investigated, with members of the media asked to wait outside the ground, until the announcement came that the game was off.