Pitch in good shape as Stags prepare for Lincoln FA Cup replay

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MANSFIELD Town’s mouthwatering FA Cup second round replay with neighbours Lincoln City looks certain to go ahead tonight (7.45pm) after the heaters and covers on the One Call Stadium pitch did a superb job overnight in the Arctic conditions.

It was still about three degrees at pitch level under the covers this morning and, with an early forceast suggesting temperatures won’t drop any lower than zero tonight, the club are optimistic the game will start and finish.

Television broadcasters ESPN and Mansfield Town Football Club have jointly funded the pitch covering system.

The state of the art ‘pitch dome’ blows hot air onto the grass surface and the pitch will be given a major blast before the covers come off.

Head groundsman Michael Merriman said: “This system should safeguard the game going ahead.

“It’s a game saver. There are 12 gas cylinders which will blow hot air on to the pitch which will keep it nice and warm.”

Despite the weather, a big crowd is expected in to see which of the two BSBP clubs will win the right to face seven-times FA Cup winners Liverpool in a plum third round tie next month.

By last night Stags had sold over 4,000 tickets with Lincoln selling 1,200 of their 1,600 allocation and many more fans expected to buy at the last minute today once the pitch situation was confirmed.