Boss Barry Robson insists the referee was right to plough on and not abandon Aberdeen’s Euro clash in frozen Finland.
Temperatures plunged to -17C due to the wind chill factor as heavy snow fell during the Dons’ 2-2 Group G draw with HJK Helsinki in the Europa Conference League.
The game had to be delayed for 10 minutes in the second half to allow ploughs to clear snow from the artificial playing surface.
Four separate announcements were also made over the stadium address system in the second half warning the game would be abandoned if Aberdeen fans didn’t stop throwing snowballs onto the pitch towards the HJK Helsinki goalkeeper.
Stand-in skipper Jonny Hayes went up to the fans in the North Stand and asked them to stop.
Kosovan referee Genc Nuza opted not to pull the plug on the match as snow continued to batter the stadium.
Robson admits he feared the game could be abandoned when the Dons were in the ascendency and looking the more likely to get a late winner.
He said: “Did I think it could be abandoned for the snow or the snowballs? Probably a bit of both.
“But we wanted the game to carry on because we were the team in the ascendancy and were desperate to try to win the game.
“How close did it come to being abandoned? It’s hard to tell.
“The snow was covering the lines but I’m not going to say it should or shouldn’t have been abandoned.
“We didn’t pick up any injuries and that was my big concern, we seem to be okay.”
Players taken in from the cold
Robson took some players out of cold storage as he made seven changes to the starting XI that drew 1-1 with Rangers on Sunday.
Striker Pape Gueye, a £500,000 summer signing, and defender Jack Milne were both handed first Dons starts.
Aberdeen were two goals down after 33 minutes due to goals from Hassane Bande and Santerri Hostikka.
After the break Duk levelled as the weather conditions continued to deteriorate.
Robson said: “We had a lot of players who came in and needed minutes. I feel they did well.
“It’s frustrating because it could have been three points, we looked like the team most likely to win it as the game went on.
“Helsinki dealt with the conditions at the start of the game.
“We knew the pitch would be difficult when we got here and had a walk on it.
“Once we got in at half-time, I told them I wasn’t having that and they could deal with it better.
“That was the biggest problem.
“I think the players were a bit reluctant to go in in those conditions, but once we started getting closer to them in the second half we were a totally different team.
“We pressed and were aggressive.
“I was so pleased to score two goals away from home and we probably should have gone on to win it.
“We wanted to win it for the fans so we’re frustrated we didn’t do it.”
Robson’s praise for Dons fightback
Aberdeen went into this game knowing they could not qualify from the group stages of the Europa Conference League.
PAOK and Eintracht Frankfurt are the two clubs that will progress to the knock-out phase from Group G.
Sitting on three points the Dons are still searching for a first win in Europe this season.
Robson praised his side for battling back from the shock of going 2-0 behind to salvage a draw in horrendous weather conditions.
He said: “I didn’t feel like that in the game, but I knew we had to get to half time and sort things out.
“We had to re-energise the players and get them going.
“Credit to the players to get back from 2-2 and they again showed the character we’ve got.
“They’re a great group.”