Gold Coast match called off

Gold Coast United's highly-anticipated 'free admission' match against the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday afternoon has been abandoned after referee Chris Beath called the game off in the 19th minute due to the unplayable nature of the Skilled Park pitch.

Gold Coast United's highly-anticipated 'free admission' match against the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday afternoon has been abandoned after referee Chris Beath called the game off in the 19th minute due to the unplayable nature of the Skilled Park pitch.

The stage was set for a landmark afternoon on the Gold Coast with a fantastic crowd of 10,146 braving the elements, creating an atmosphere that the home team would have been dying to play in front of - but it all ended in a bizarre anti-climax.

The official crowd broke their largest ever home Hyundai A-League crowd of 10,024 on Boxing Day last year - but many more were streaming in even as the game was called off and the official number would have been much larger had those punters entered the stadium.

Regardless, it would have been a heartening turnout for the Gold Coast football community given the horrible weather that has plagued numerous recent United home games.

Rain had tumbled down on the Gold Coast all morning and the pitch clearly suffered for the downpour, with large sections of the Skilled Park surface waterlogged, muddy and clearly affecting the play with passes stopping dead and puddles trapping the ball.

It was no more apparent when Pedj Bojic ran down the right wing but the ball remained metres behind him, held up by a sizeable puddle of rain to the profit of Bruce Djite, but the part-time Qantas Socceroo failed to make anything of the opportunity.

In the 11th minute, United's Dino Djulbic brought down Oliver Bozanic in the area and Beath had no hesitation pointing straight to the spot, but Adam Kwasnik put his penalty wide of the left post to the jeers of a loud, passionate and sizable United contingent.

But it wouldn't have mattered with the official ruling dictating if a game is called off prior to the restart of play after half time then a result is not recorded, meaning this match will have to be rescheduled in an already-packed January and February for both Gold Coast and the Mariners.