Forest Green boss Mark Cooper hits out at referee after Mansfield Town game is abandoned

Mark Cooper
Mark Cooper

Match referee James Linington came under fire from Forest Green Rovers boss Mark Cooper after abandoning their home clash with Mansfield Town at half-time due to heavy rain on Saturday.

Cooper felt referee James Linington ‘panicked’ and should never have started the game.

After deciding to start, despite the sodden pitch, Linington called both captains together to discuss safety concerns just before half-time, but played on to the break.

“The right decision would’ve been to not start the game,” said Cooper.

“We told the referee the forecast, it was going to be a monsoon of Mongolian proportions but he chose not to listen to that.


“Then he chose to stop the game when it’s not raining. I think he panicked didn’t he?

“But then it stopped raining and they just don’t do themselves any favours.

“Instead of using his common sense and saying “tell you what, we’ll wait 15 to 20 minutes see if stops raining, in which it did, and then we’ll a view on it.”

“But no, he goes and couldn’t wait to get back into his little warm room and put his feet up on top of the heater probably!

“Listen that’s the level and we’ll have to deal with it.”

The rain fell at the New Lawn all morning and before kick-off puddles were appearing.

“We knew the game was going to get called off and the referee still started it,” said Cooper.

“You’ve got to look at the forecast, it’s not like Michael Fish back in 1975, telling you there’s going to be and that it’s a one per cent chance.

“We’re talking about a million pounds that they spend on things like that.

“They know the forecast, it’s been forecast rain all day and it was supposed to get heavier at three o’clock, which it did, so just don’t play it!

“All we’ve done is played 45 minutes, knackered a pitch up and it messes everything up.

“The fans come for a half a game and it was an absolute shambles.”

He added: “I must say though that’s the best we’ve played at home!”

“We adapted to the conditions fantastically well.

“We’re going to ask the groundsman if we can water the pitch like that before every game from now on.”