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Referee postponed game 'within seconds'

27 November 2018

Head groundsman Michael Merriman revealed that it took the referee a matter of seconds to postpone tonight’s fixture after inspecting the field of play.

Mansfield Town were scheduled to face Crawley Town in their latest Sky Bet League Two instalment before heavy rain subsequently led to an unplayable waterlogged pitch.

The adverse weather conditions showed no sign of easing before referee Michael Salisbury deemed it unplayable. 

And Merriman said it was an almost instantaneous decision for Salisbury as he began to inspect the One Call Stadium turf. 

“It was literally seconds” he stated. “As soon as he [referee] came on he said straight away: ‘this won’t happen’.

“It’s one of them where it’s two to three inches deep in places. It started about half past two and was steady for half an hour, but then it really started coming.

"As soon as he [referee] came on he said straight away: ‘this won’t happen’."

Michael Merriman, head groundsman

“I was talking to one of the lads who was in town earlier and he thought [the same] with the weather shooting down – it just hasn’t given up all night.”

The Stags’ head groundsman prepped for the evening’s fixture as usual, yet he was understandably unable to foresee the amount of rain that had fallen in the East Midlands.

“You spike as normal, and you know it’s coming, you just don’t know how bad.

“Obviously I didn’t see it coming this crazy. You prepare as normal but it was just too much rain in one go.

“We’ll leave the pitch alone and let it drain away for now. If we try and go on there now we’ll just make it a sloppy mess so there’s no point in damaging it.

“If we played the game, would there be any point in damaging it for just one game when it’s a long old season? It’s just one of them things.”

To watch the interview in full, log in to later this evening.

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