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Archived News from March 2004

21st March 2004 18:10

Football First match report:
By Aimee Rankin

transcribed by Carole

Angry fans hit in the pocket as Mansfield blown away:

THERE were angry scenes at Field Mill as the promotion showdown between Mansfield and Oxford was abandoned at half-time due to the high winds.

After the teams had managed to produce a decent standard of entertainment in the first wind-swept 45 minutes, the decision came as something as a shock and was greeted with boos.

And there were angry scenes outside the ground's ticket office afterwards when a section of the fans were told there would be no refunds.

Mansfield manager Keith Curle was philosophical after at least seeing his under pressure side look a little more like their old self in the half that was played.

“The conditions were harsh, but I thought we coped admirably,” he said.

“Oxford had a gusting wind behind them, but we kept them at bay and Kevin Pilkington hasn't really had a save to make.

“The referee had reservations about carrying on midway through the first-half, but I was happy to continue as I felt enough football was being played to be a spectacle for the supporters.

“As a footballer you have to adapt to weather conditions which we did. But the referee made his decision and as a manager you have to stand by that.

“Having failed to make the most of the wind behind them I don't think Oxford's mindset would have been to carry on.”

With manager Ian Atkins suspended, Oxford player David Oldfield took charge of the bench and team selection for this game and he said: “It was a brave decision by the referee.

“Obviously it was extremely windy and I have to say it was his decision and we have to live with that and come back and get a result next time.

“I thought we did the basic things well in the first-half, but we should have made more of the conditions.”

Neither keeper had a major save to make in the 45 minutes of action.

But, after surviving some early wind-assisted flutters, Mansfield were the dominant side, keeping the ball on the floor and away from their goal.

There was a hold-up midway through the first-half when keeper Pilkington was unable to take a free-kick as the ball kept rolling away in the wind.

At this stage the referee asked both sides if they wanted to carry on which they did, but it was not to last and now this fixture will have to be squeezed into an already congested end of season promotion run-in for both sides.


Latest | March 2004