Harrogate Town's League Two clash with Mansfield Town called off

Harrogate Town have seen a second fixture of the festive period called off due to Covid-19.

Monday, 27th December 2021, 2:37 pm
Updated Monday, 27th December 2021, 2:40 pm
Harrogate Town beat Mansfield Town 3-1 the last time the sides met at Wetherby Road. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The Sulphurites' home meeting with Mansfield Town on Wednesday night follows their Boxing Day trip to Bradford City in being postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak in the opposition camp.

The writing was on the wall for Simon Weaver and his men immediately after Mansfield's 3-2 comeback win over Hartlepool United on Sunday when Stags boss Nigel Clough revealed his doubts regarding his side's ability to fulfil their next scheduled League Two game.

Missing four players to injury and a further four because of Covid-related issues, the Nottinghamshire outfit only had 14 outfield players available for selection, with Clough predicting that more positive test results would be forthcoming.

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“We only have 14 fit outfielders and none of the injuries will be back in time for Wednesday," he said.

“We will do everything we can to get a team out on Wednesday but, as much as we want to play, if we can't make the required number we will fall victim like an awful lot of teams have today.

“We have a few more now who have symptoms and are coughing and we will test them in the morning and see where we go. With it spreading so fast I think it's inevitable there will be two or three more.”

The Football League (EFL) then confirmed in a statement released on Monday afternoon that Mansfield had subsequently informed them that they 'would be unable to fulfil the fixture at the EnviroVent Stadium due to a number of positive COVID-19 cases in their squad.'

The statement went on to say: 'In light of the increased transmission rate of the Omicron variant, the EFL will now review the circumstances surrounding the postponement.

'In addition, it will assist affected Clubs throughout this challenging period to help them mitigate against the risk of infection amongst players and staff, while ensuring their obligations to the EFL regulations are maintained.

'A rearranged date for the fixtures will be confirmed in due course.'

Increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases decimated the Boxing Day fixture list across English football, with just three of the 12 scheduled matches going ahead in League Two on Sunday.

Thus far, Harrogate have not reported any positive test results but will have to wait until New Year's Day before they can kick a ball in anger again.

That means that Town will have had an enforced 11-day break by the time Port Vale become the first team to visit Wetherby Road in 2022.