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Archived News from February 2004

1st February 2004 18:04

The Stags game against Swansea was called off on Saturday morning due to a waterlogged pitch.
Football Post: (transcribed by carole)

Curle is backing call-off

MANSFIELD boss Keith Curle backed referee Peter Walton's decision to call off the club's clash with Swansea because of a waterlogged pitch.

It was officially called off at about 11am after an intense attempt by Mansfield ground staff to get the pitch playable.

The melting snow and heavy downpour overnight left the pitch heavy but although groundsman Rob Sprigg had been out since 8am to make the surface almost playable, the referee said the slightest shower would make the pitch dangerous.

Curle said “Spriggy has done a great job to get it into an almost playable state.

“With the big freeze we have had thawing out and the heavy downpour, the pitch was very heavy.

“But the work this morning got it into a better state, although still very heavy, but the referee had to take a decision early because of a number of factors, including the long distance being travelled by the away supporters.

“But with a lot more rain forecast, I felt he had to call it off because even the slightest shower would have left surface water in a lot of places and would have made the game a farce. We would not have wanted that.”

And Swansea boss Brian Flynn had no problem with the match being called off.

His players had already arrived in Mansfield and Flynn inspected the pitch himself.

He said “We are disappointed as we were all looking forward to the game but the pitch is very heavy and waterlogged and it could not be played. The referee made the right decision.”

Now Mansfield are determined to get the game re-arranged as soon as possible, and the coaching staff are making the most of having this afternoon off.

Curle said “I have given the players the day off and it gives the coaching staff a chance to go and watch some matches, check out some teams and players. I'm going to Chesterfield and QPR.

“But we have to give the League ten days notice to rearrange a match because of policing and stewards. But we will look to try and get it re-arranged for a week on Tuesday or soon after then.”


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