Lee Mansell sees benefit in calling off Torquay United match
Frustrated that the chance to renew a profitable midfield partnership with Damon Lathrope has been put on hold, Torquay United captain Lee Mansell still believes that the postponement of last night's Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie against Yeovil Town may have saved the Plainmoor pitch from serious damage.
Now in his seventh season at United, Mansell said: "It's the first time since I've been at the club that we've ever had a match off because Plainmoor has been waterlogged.
"We've had a few off because it's been frozen, but that pitch can soak up some serious water. But we've just had so much rain lately that it wasn't a surprise when this game was off.
"The thing is that we're trying to play a passing game, and you need a good surface to do that.
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"What you do on the pitch now affects not just the next match, with Accrington here on Saturday, but three or four months down the line.
"I remember, in my first year [2006-07] here, we played a game when Lubos Kubik was manager, when we should never have played, and it ruined the pitch for the rest of the season. We've got a new groundsman coming in next week, and I don't think he'd want to walk in and find a pitch that's in bits."
Mansell admitted: "I know it's frustrating for the gaffer [manager Martin Ling] that the game was off, and it's definitely frustrating for me.
"I was due to play in midfield with Nathan Craig and also Damon Lathrope, now that he's fit again. It should have meant that I could shake the shackles off and get back to what I was doing last season."
Lathrope was in line for a recall by Ling, after a seven-week absence with a knee injury.
Lathrope's work as United's midfield 'anchor man' helped give Mansell the freedom to go forward and score 13 goals last season, but he is yet to hit the mark this time.
It did not take long for match referee Andy Woolmer to make his decision to postpone just after yesterday lunchtime, as the rain continued to fall on the Devon Riviera.
The Yeovil tie has been rearranged for next Tuesday (7.45pm), which will mean the postponement of the 'development game' against an Exeter City XI that day.