Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft backs referee’s decision to abandon game at Forest Green

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Forest Green Rovers v Mansfield Town; 15/12/18  KO 15:00; The New Lawn; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Mansfield boss David Flitcroft chats to his opposite number Mark Cooper ahead of the match at Forest Green Rovers
Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Forest Green Rovers v Mansfield Town; 15/12/18 KO 15:00; The New Lawn; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Mansfield boss David Flitcroft chats to his opposite number Mark Cooper ahead of the match at Forest Green Rovers

Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft backed referee James Linington’s decision to abandon the Stags’ game at Forest Green Rovers this afternoon.

Torrential rainfall marred the first half at the New Lawn with the pitch deemed unplayable during the break.

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Forest Green Rovers v Mansfield Town; 15/12/18  KO 15:00; The New Lawn; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Referee James Lingington asks Mansfield and Forest Green Rovers players if they wish to continue before abandoning the game at half time

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Forest Green Rovers v Mansfield Town; 15/12/18 KO 15:00; The New Lawn; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Referee James Lingington asks Mansfield and Forest Green Rovers players if they wish to continue before abandoning the game at half time

Linington had previously stopped the match seven minutes before half-time to talk to both captains and inspect the sodden surface.

“The worst thing is if someone goes 1-0 up. Morally he’s done the right thing to call it off,” reflected Flitcroft.

“We have a duty of care. I’m gutted that the fans have come down here and spent their money but we have to protect people.

“Sometimes you can’t blame anyone, we have no control over the weather.

“We were waiting for a mistake to be made. We were trying to get three points, but he’s made the right call.

“We don’t want to be coming here on a Tuesday night.”

Flitcroft was forced into a solitary change from the side who took the bragging rights against local rivals Notts County last time out.

Goalkeeper Conrad Logan replaced Bobby Olejnik, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season after sustaining a cruciate ligament injury, with young gun Jake Kean named on the bench.

The Stags were looking to improve on their impressive 13-game unbeaten run in the league.

But it was apparent early on that the New Lawn surface was struggling to hold up with conditions.

Logan made an immediate impact after being recalled to the side by keeping out Carl Winchester’s low drive early on.

Ryan Sweeney had a looping header saved by Robert Sanchez.

Logan rushed off his line to brilliantly deny Liam Shepherd in a one-on-one situation.

The best chance of the game fell to Tyler Walker, forcing Sanchez into a super save after cutting inside to let rip.

After blowing for half time, Linington and the match officials inspected the pitch before calling an early halt to proceedings.

FOREST GREEN: Sanchez, Shephard, James, Rawson, Winchester, Grubb, Brown, Gunning, McGinley, Mills, Reid.

Unused subs: Montgomery, Collins, Williams, Campbell, Archibald, Worthington, Morris.

MANSFIELD: Logan, White, Benning, Preston, Pearce, Bishop, Mellis, Sweeney, Walker, Elsnik, Hamilton.

Unused subs: Kean, Khan, Atkinson, Butcher, Law, Graham, Rose.

REFEREE: James Linington