Nigel Clough pledge to help Mansfield Town fans get back to Forest Green Rovers after frustrating fog abandonment

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough vowed to try to arrange some compensatory travel back down to Forest Green Rovers for the frustrated fans who made the long haul for tonight's big League Two showdown that fell foul of the fog.

Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 9:22 pm
The teams await the inevitable decision tonight. Photo by Chris Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media
The teams await the inevitable decision tonight. Photo by Chris Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media

Kick-off was delayed and the game eventually started after the fog began to clear.

But it came down again with only three minutes played and, despite another wait, the game was abandoned.

“It was unavoidable. There was nothing the referee could do. There was nothing anybody could do about it,” said Clough

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“The fog came in and we gave it every chance to clear, but it just got worse.

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Fog forces early abandonment of Mansfield Town’s big game at leaders Forest Gree...

“It's probably worse for the supporters, having trekked down here.

“As a club we will see if we can come up with some travel arrangements when the game is rearranged and see what we can do to look after them.

“The last thing we wanted, with two such good teams on show tonight, was the supporters not to be able to see it having travelled there, especially our supporters.

“And you don't want it to be decided by a lottery. We couldn't see the far side and the linesman couldn't see it, so he doesn't know about offsides. You don't want any mistakes.

“With two good teams you don't it to be decided on that.”

He added: “The referee got it absolutely spot on. There were all sorts of issues.

“The main thing is it was a game between two good teams and people have got to see it.

“Conditions did improve and it lifted a little bit. But within four or five minutes after eight o'clock it had come down again. And it got worse.

“You can only give it so long. The players can't keep stop-starting as much as we wanted to play the game.”

With Stags having won their last six games and in the play-off zone, they were all keyed up to test themselves against table-topping Roves tonight

“We had prepared for it and we are on a reasonable run of form, so we were all desperate to play,” he said.

“We had travelled down and done all the preparation. There are few worse feelings for a footballer than being denied a game of football when you're ready for it.

“They said let's play, but once we kicked off we couldn't really see the ball, when it went over a certain height as well, and the two wide men, Elliott Hewitt and Stephen McLaughlin were saying they couldn't see each other and had no idea where they were on the pitch. That's no good for football.”

Stags now need a third date for the game, the first fixture being lost to a Covid outbreak at Forest Green just before Christmas.

“We will get it in somewhere but it is all getting a bit congested now with the fixtures we've had to rearrange,” said Clough.

“Forest Green are in a similar situation. But there is nothing we can do about it. It's not Covid and it's not injuries. It's just the weather.”

Fog abandonment is nothing new for the former Forest star,

“Playing at Forest, it came in off the River Trent quite a few times, watching and playing the odd time,” he said.

“All of a sudden it was clear, then mist rolling in from the Trent and all that – and it did at times.

“We lost a few games like that, but generally I have not seen this too often in my managerial career.

“We will now train in the morning and have a good session to replace the game tonight and then we will travel up to Barrow on Friday and prepare for the game.”