REPORT FROM DERBY SITE
RAMS RAINED OFF
Torrential rain led to Derby County's pre-season friendly with Mansfield Town being abandoned after just 43 minutes at Field Mill on Tuesday.
Referee Steve Baines called a halt to proceedings as conditions worsened considerably to the extent that players were no longer able to hold their balance and the ball consistently failed to roll through the areas of burgeoning standing water.
Derby County manager John Gregory praised the decision at an almost-flooded Field Mill:
“I'm pleased that common sense prevailed, as once the surface water was there it was getting dangerous,”said the Derby boss. “The pre-season continues at Chesterfield tomorrow,” Gregory added.
The rain gradually increased following kick-off in the second of Derby's pre-season fixtures but in the early stages the football was flowing more freely than than the water. In a lively opening ten minutes both sides had chances with both Christies – Malcolm for the Rams and Iysedon for the Stags – featuring at either end.
Iysedon Christie won a free-kick for the Stags on the 10th minute but former Leeds and Blackburn Rovers midfielder Scott Sellars could not force Andy Oakes to make a save.
As the rain streaked down from the Nottinghamshire skies the pace of Lee Morris shone through as he almost opened up the Mansfield defence but he could not make the best of his chance to centre for Malcolm Christie.
Adam Bolder was next to show well for John Gregory's side. The midfielder is trying to force his way in to the starting line-up for the game with Reading and he did well to burst on to a through ball only to see his effort denied by Stags goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington.
Steve Elliott was alert to save from Iysedon Christie but the striker almost opened the scoring from the resulting corner. This time Andy Oakes made a point-blank save from the striker as he pounced inside the six-yard box.
The Rams responded with a smooth move down the right that ended with Christie meeting Warren Barton's cross but not directing his header on target.
The best chance of the night came just before the half-hour when Adam Bolder again burst clear on to Branko Strupar's through-ball. The midfielder rounded former Manchester United 'keeper Kevin Pilkington but could only find the side netting as the ball skidded along the rain-sodden surface.
The Rams were beginning to dominate and Malcolm Christie slid a shot wide but the rain was becoming truly torrential. Francois Grenet then made a good run down the right and squared to Strupar who brought another fine save from Pilkington.
The rain became even more significant as half-time approached and referee Steve Baines began to seriously consider calling a halt to the action. Mansfield defender Stuart Reddington slipped over and the ball was beginning to hold up severely in the water.
With half-time still two minutes away Baines looked across to the sidelines and led both teams to the tunnel. With the rain still persistent and the North Nottinghamshire skies not showing any sign of relenting the game was abandoned.
So water, water, everywhere and evcn on a night when Derby had planned to launch 'Boets' as a second-half sub, there was only going to be one winner –the rain.
Derby County; Oakes, Barton, Jackson, Elliott, Riggott, Grenet, O'Neil, Morris, Bolder, Strupar, Christie
Latest | July 2002