DISGRACEFUL DECISION AS GAME IS ABANDONED
Mansfield Town 0 a 0 Oxford United
(abandoned at half time)
Att: 4,478 (756 from Oxford)
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
This game was abandoned at half time with the score at 0-0. It was clear to everyone in the ground that the Stags wanted the game to continue, whilst Oxford United didn't. As the players left the pitch at half time, Oxford number 27 Paul Wanless, a senior player in the side (which was without its suspended manager Ian Atkins) was clearly remonstrating with the referee. One can only speculate what he was saying, but he was certainly wasn't imploring the ref to let the game continue. He was immediately joined by caretaker boss David Oldfield, who was also having strong words with the referee. Let's face it: it's clear they were asking the ref to call the game off. What else could they have been saying. The Stags players meanwhile were leaving the pitch to a standing ovation, having played their best football for weeks, despite battling into the strong wind for 45 minutes.
It was a disgraceful decision by the referee. There was no safety issue for the players or supporters. It was clear he must be have been influenced by the Oxford players and officials, who having failed to take advantage of the wind behind them, would have been facing an onslaught in the second half.
Mansfield 0 Oxford 0 (match abandoned)
Referee Howard Webb stunned fans with a surprise half-time abandonment of the promotion clash at Field Mill due to high winds.
Mansfield had battled against Oxford for 45 minutes with the wind against them and reappeared for the second half ready to go.
But the visitors failed to come out and amid confusing scenes the game was called off.
The first half had provided little entertainment and Junior Mendes came closest for the home side when he latched onto Rhys Days' long ball over the top.
His first shot was blocked by Andy Woodman and the goalkeeper did well to block the rebound.
Alex John-Baptiste nearly opened the scoring four minutes later when he picked up the loose ball in the area and fired just over from 12 yards.
Scott McNiven lobbed onto the roof of the net from the edge of the area and Dean Whitehead's injury-time free-kick flew over the crossbar.
Latest | March 2004