The Match That Never Was

Forest Green Rovers A-A Mansfield Town (EFL League Two) 18.01.22

In-form Mansfield made the trip down the M5 to Gloucestershire and the small leafy town of Nailsworth as they faced table topping Forest Green Rovers in an intriguing league two tie pitting two of the best teams in the division together.

The Stags warmed up with Nigel Clough having announced his side ahead of kick off, Ryan Stirk in for Ollie Clarke the only change to the starting line-up that beat Walsall 2-0 at the weekend whilst Forest Green made three changes from the side that drew at Northampton.

All seemed to be going well on a cold but clear night until five minutes before kick off when the mist set in above the New Lawn Stadium and the Referee was forced to delay proceedings to the 7:45pm kick off by initially ten minutes.

With a little gap in the fog, the match at last, started at 8pm, with the hosts striker Jamille Matt one minute in, testing the palms of Nathan Bishop from long range but the Manchester United loanee held comfortably.

With sparse action in the opening exchanges, the conditions worsened and it was almost impossible to see both sides of the pitch, the Referee calling time to suspend the match just four minutes in, both sets of players sent back to the dressing rooms in the hope the skies would clear up.

However, it wasn’t to be, the Referee eventually waiting a further ten minutes to abandon the game with the tie still goalless.

Speaking after the match, Stags Manager Nigel Clough stated “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.”

Clough continued “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.”

Mansfield’s attention now draws to the weekends fixture at Barrow, the Cumbrians are currently 21st in the table seven points above the drop zone.

Forest Green Rovers: McGee, Godwin-Malife, Taylor-Moore, Cargill, Wilson, Stevenson, Hendry, Cadden, Young, Matt, Stevens.

Mansfield Town: Bishop, Hewitt, Rawson, Hawkins, McLaughlin, Stirk, Maris, O’Toole, Quinn, Oates, Bowery.

Venue: The New Lawn

*Main image @mansfieldtownfc a misty affair in Gloucestershire as the match is abandoned after just 4 minutes play.

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