REF CHANGED FOR SWANSEA GAME
Stags happy over referee U-turn
MANSFIELD Town are delighted to see the Footbll League do a U-turn and change the referee for their crunch game at Swansea City on Friday night.
Stags boss Keith Curle contacted the league's Referees officer to query the appointment of Lee Probert who, in the same fixture last season, was the subject of an official complaint by the Stags.
He sent off two Mansfield players, showed them six other yellow cards and didn't book a single home player as Stags crashed 4-1 with the night best remembered for a 73rd minute mass brawl.
"I rang and asked them if the appointment of the same referee was an oversight and they said it was," said Curle.
"We are pleased they have changed it as we wanted the focus of our supporters going down there to be on what we do as a team and not worrying if the referee is against us."
Now in charge of this second v seventh clash is Lancashire official Graham Salisbury.
For the third successive game, victory could put Mansfield top of the table.
STAGS FORCE REF SWITCH
Evening Post, BY MARK ROACH, 06 October 2004
Stags boss Keith Curle has persuaded the Football League to change the referee for Friday night's game at Swansea.
Lee Probert, who sent off two Mansfield players and reported Curle for failing to control his players in a mass brawl at Swansea last year, had been put in charge of Friday's game.
But Curle contacted Football League referees' officer Jim Ashworth to ask for a change, and the official agreed.
"It was an oversight," admitted Ashworth. "We were aware things went on in last year's game and if I can be proactive in avoiding problems I will be.
"I was grateful someone brought it to my attention."
Curle added: "I made a phone call and was told it was an oversight and the referee has been changed.
"They want a good game between two teams at the top of the division and so do we. I thought it was probably an oversight and I made them aware of it."
The new referee is Lancashire official Graham Salisbury.
Probert sent off Iyesden Christie and Lee Williamson in a bad-tempered clash last season - and Williamson's 73rd-minute red card sparked a punch-up involving every player on the pitch.
The Stags had a further six players booked, but Probert did not show one yellow to home players.
Curle and Swansea assistant-manager Kevin Reeves were also involved in a row and Stags were fined £2,000 by the FA.
Mansfield's reserve game at Leeds yesterday was cancelled.
With several first-team players unavailable for Friday's trip to Swansea already, Keith Curle did not want to risk further injury.
The referee for the game at Swansea has now been changed to Graham Salisbury (Lancashire). - Martin
Deja Vu For Mansfield - Their Worst Nightmare?
By Phil Sumbler, 4/10/2004
Twelve months on and Swansea face Mansfield at the Vetch on Friday night - keen to let football be the winner after last year's game descended into farce with the Swans running out 4-1 winners against 9 man Mansfield at the Vetch.
Much was said after that game about the standard of the referee not least by Mansfield manager Keith Curle who moaned "I have to be careful what I say about officials but I believe the professional stage yesterday was too big for them, In that kind of atmosphere, I think my players were let down by officials who were not up to the job."
Well on that basis Curle and the travelling Mansfield support will no doubt be pleased to discover that the football league have appointed Lee Probert to referee the game on Friday night. The very same Lee Probert who took charge of the same fixture last season and handed out red cards to Iyseden Christie and Lee Williamson.
Probert will be assisted by Gary Chapman and Brendan Malone - luckily for Mansfield different assistants to those provided by the football league last season.
Probert has taken charge of seven games this season and handed out 25 yellow cards and four reds suggesting that Curle will be none to comforted by seeing the same man in charge yet again.
With a sell out Vetch crowd expected on Friday night, the atmopshere will be no less quiet then it was twelve months ago and Mansfield fans will be praying that they leave the Vetch believing the referee is up to the job this time around.
It does seem a strange decision by the football league to appoint the same man who drew so much criticism from the visitors last season but nothing should surprise us any more.
Vetch Heads For Friday Sell Out
By Phil Sumbler, 4/10/2004
Friday's visit of fellow promotion candidates Mansfield Town is heading for a sell out after police informed the club that the family West Terrace could not be used on the night. Mansfield fans will be housed on the West Terrace and police informed the club that only advanced ticket sales for the Family section of the terrace could be accommodated. However, advanced tickets were not put on sale for this section of the ground and consequently it will remain closed on Friday evening for the game.
On that basis, the club are expecting a near sell out of the home sections of the ground as the Swans look for the result that could put them top of the League Two table on Friday night.
Only 9500 spaces are available within the ground for Swansea supporters and anyone wishing to pay on the gate is advised to be inside the Vetch by around 7pm to ensure that they get to see the game. Anyone wishing to purchase a seating ticket for the game is advised to buy one in advance from the club shop as it is likely these areas of the ground will have no 'pay on the gate' admission on Friday.
Police are unsure at the moment how many Mansfield fans are expected to make the trip at this moment although around 200 seems to be a reasonable guess at this figure.
The club have advised that as soon as the pay on the gate spaces are taken then the gates to the terraced areas of the ground will be closed to anyone paying on the night, season ticket holders are also asked to enter the ground as early as possible.
The game itself will see two of the divisions heavily tipped promotion candidates doing battle with a Swans win, and anything less from Yeovil on the night at Rochdale seeing the Swans top the division for the first time in over twelve months.
Meanwhile, the club have reported a steady flow of linked tickets being sold this morning - the first time that these have gone on sale. Around 100 people were at the club shop when it opened at 9am and the club have again advised fans that this is the only way that any non season ticket holder or trust member can see the last game against Shrewsbury on April 30. Linked tickets were available for all parts of the ground and encompass the Leyton Orient game on October 19 as well as the Chester City game on 26 January. Tickets will only be on sale prior to the Leyton Orient game. Consequently, both the two other games have become all ticket for home supporters with no option to pay on the day.
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