COVID cases at Stevenage force postponement of Mansfield Town trip

Stevenage's trip to Mansfield Town in League Two was called off due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the Lamex Stadium.

Stevenage's trip to Mansfield Town in League Two was called off due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the Lamex Stadium. - Credit: ISAAC PARKIN/PA

Stevenage's season of drama lurched quickly from one thing to the next as their game at Mansfield Town was postponed due to another COVID-19 outbreak at the Lamex.

A little more than 24 hours after Paul Tisdale was sacked and Steve Evans became their fourth manager of the campaign, Boro announced that "multiple" players and staff had been struck down with the disease.

One, Scott Cuthbert, had already tested positive on Tuesday morning before the 2-1 loss to Northampton Town but after further testing across Thursday, the situation had escalated to the point where they were left with just 12 fit players.

And, after consultation with the EFL, the League Two fixture at Field Mill was called off.

A statement from the club said: "Stevenage Football Club informed the EFL of the situation on Thursday morning and have been in communication with them.

"There have been a significant number of positive cases in the club offices, backroom staff and foundation staff this week, whilst seven of the first team that started or played in last Saturday’s EFL game [a 2-0 defeat to Newport County] are unavailable with COVID-19/illness, in addition to eight senior players unavailable with various injuries.

"The outbreak has left the squad with 12 available players including two goalkeepers and an 18-year-old recalled from loan.

"The club have communicated fully with the EFL at every stage and explored every option before this decision was made."

A short statement from the EFL said: "Stevenage has advised the EFL it considers it is unable to fulfil this weekend’s fixture against Mansfield Town due to a lack of player availability.

"As a result, the Sky Bet League Two fixture on Saturday 19 March 2022, kick-off 3pm, will not take place as scheduled.

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"The circumstances surrounding the fixture not being played will now be the subject of investigation in accordance with EFL Regulations.

"A revised date for the rearranged game will be confirmed in due course."

Stevenage's next game, the first under the stewardship of Evans, will be away to Exeter City on Saturday while the next home game is on April 2 against Oldham Athletic.