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Match abandonment was ‘unavoidable’ says boss

18 January 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough described the decision to abandon this evening’s game away at Forest Green Rovers due to heavy fog as ‘unavoidable’.

The clash with the league leaders will now take place on a rearranged date.

 

Speaking to the media at The Fully Charged New Lawn, the gaffer said: “It’s unavoidable, there’s nothing the referee can do about it.

 

“The fog has come in and we’ve given it every chance to clear and it’s just got worse.

 

“The last thing we wanted with two such good teams on show tonight was the supporters not to be able to see it despite having travelled [such a long distance].

 

“You don’t want it [the match] to be decided by a lottery.

 

“We can’t see the far side, the linesman couldn’t see it so he doesn’t know about offsides and you don’t want any mistakes.”

 

Kick-off was delayed twice in the hope that fog would clear. After eventually getting underway, the match was stopped for two separate ten minute spells before being called off. 

 

“It [the fog] had improved. When it got to quarter to eight we said we’d give it ten minutes and it had lifted a little bit,” said the manager.

 

“Within four or five minutes after eight o’clock it [the fog] had come down again. It’s probably got worse again now [following the abandonment]. 

 

“You can only give it so long [before calling the match off] the players can’t keep stop, starting, stop, starting.

 

“When you’re prepared for it [it’s disappointing]. We’re in a reasonable run of form at the minute so the lads wanted to play.”

 

The manager reflected on the players’ frustrations at not being able to play but revealed the severity of the conditions, pitchside.

 

“There’s very few worse feelings as a footballer than to be denied a game of football when you’re ready for it,” he said.

 

“They’re all [saying] let’s play and then once we’d kicked off they couldn’t really see the ball once it went over a certain height. 

 

“The two wide men, Elliott Hewitt and Stephen McLaughlin, were saying they couldn’t see each other. 

 

“They had no idea where they were on the pitch so that’s no good for them.”

 

The manager will now prepare the Stags for the next fixture, away at Barrow this Saturday. 

 

“We’ll train in the morning and have a good session to replace the game tonight,” the boss said.

 

“We’ll travel up to Barrow on Friday and prepare for the game.”


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