MATCH ABANDONED AT ACCRINGTON
Accrington Stanley 1 A 1 Mansfield Town
ABANDONED AT HALF-TIME.
Todd 8 pen. M.Boulding 45+3
Attendance: app 1900 (app 500 from Mansfield) - my estimates
Martin Shaw at The Fraser Eagle Stadium
In farcical conditions at Accrington today, the Stags' first game under new manager Billy Dearden was abandoned at half time due to a waterlogged pitch. During my 250 mile drive from Guildford in the morning I had seen nothing but sunshine until I reached Lancashire, but a massive prolonged downpour from around 2pm until the start of the game turned the pitch into a near swimming pool in places. After two minutes of the game, I had already noted down that it's obvious that this game will not go the distance. The Stags went behind to a poor penalty decision on 8 minutes but fought back well and thoroughly deserved the equaliser from Michael Boulding with virtually the last kick of the first half. Boulding's goal was a comedy effort as a back-pass stuck in the mud and the Accrington keeper completely missed his kick trying to clear it allowing Boulding to fire into the net. Those with longer memories will remember Barry Daines and Dave Syrett in 1978 when Spurs visited Field Mill. What was surprising was that conditions after 45 minutes were quite clearly no worse than they were after two minutes as the rain had basically stopped by half time. However the referee was surely in a “no win” situation today and it would be unfair to be too critical of the decision.
Man of the match: Mickey Boulding
Stagsnet report now in the Match Centre.
Dearden 'debut' washed out by Accrington abandonment
A WATERLOGGED pitch forced the half-time abandonment of Mansfield Town's game at Accrington Stanley as Billy Dearden's first game back as manager proved a very damp squib.
The first half was played on a sodden pitch with standing pools of water as Stags fought back from Accrington's eighth minute penalty success by Andy Todd to level right at the break through Michael Boulding.
But, with the pitch no worse than when the game kicked off, referee Jon Moss surprised everyone by suddenly deciding to call it off during the interval.
Stags arrived at the Fraser Eagle Stadium under dark, leaden skies with downpour after downpour coming down.
The pitch showed pools of water as the players warmed up and the ground officials were furiously trying to fix bursts in the overflow pipes in the stadium as it strained to cope with the weight of water coming down.
The Mansfield team saw one change with Hamshaw (calf strain) not fully fit and dropping to the bench as cover with Arnold given his first League start of the season.
With Muggleton injured, there was no cover keeper with young Rory Boulding making up the numbers.
Accrington, without a League win in 10 games, were missing players due to injury, illness and suspension and had to draft in three youngsters on their bench to supplement the 13 available first team squad members.
Accrington applied the early pressure and Mullins was booked after only five minutes for chopping down Whalley with a dreadful late tackle.
And Stanley went into an eighth minute lead. Brown was checked by Buxton in the box as he tried to latch onto Todd's pass and the referee immediately awarded the penalty which Todd clinically dispatched with a thunderous spot kick.
Both sides were slipping and sliding on the drenched surface with the ball getting caught in the standing pools of water and halting moves. But it made for great entertainment too.
Michael Boulding took advantage of the conditions to rob Williams just inside the box but he knocked it too far and the keeper was able to gather before Boulding could pounce.
On 20 minutes Accrington won the first corner which saw Whalley exchange passes with Todd before putting the ball over and Harris was not far off with a powerful 18 yard volley.
Brown then made good distance down the centre before shooting to high from 25 yards.
Stags thought they had won a penalty on 24 minutes when Bains blocked Brown on the by-line but the referee waved play on to the fury of the away fans behind that goal.
Three minutes later Stags were again looking at the referee as Richardson prevented Boulding reaching the bal inn the box but again nothing was given.
Coke went on a superb run down the right which took him into the box and saw him force a save from Dunbavin at his near post.
Stags forced a good scramble in the home box on 33 minutes with several shots blocked, Barker keeping his feet when caught by the keeper as he tried to shield the ball away from him, and Arnold finally forcing a save after some nimble footwork.
That forced the first of three successive corners for Mansfield but Stanley weathered the pressure.
With Brown down injured from a crunching tackle, Boulding hit a low shot on target from 18 yards which Dunbavin was behind.
Mansfield finally got a deserved equaliser with the last kick of the first half - and this time the conditions gave them a helping hand.
Richardson's backpass reached Dunbavin. But his clearance got caught in the mud and rolled straight to Boulding who calmly slipped the ball past the hapless keeper to level.
By half time the pitch was no worse than when the match kicked off.
But the officials decided to abandoned it at the break in a surprise announcement that was greeted with a small chorus of booing.
But Stags were left with an early journey home and a second outstanding match to fit into their 2007 midweek schedule.
Stags boss Dearden confirmed after the game that, as far as he is concerned, skipper Richie Barker is still a Mansfield Town player, despite transfer rumours, and he expected him in tomorrow to prepare for the Hartlepool game.
Latest | December 2006