Quad bike yobs have wrecked a pitch hours before young footballers were due to play a key match.
The vandals’ overnight rally left deep grooves in the Jewel Park ground, churning it up so badly that it was rendered unplayable.
The damage was only discovered last Sunday morning, just before Edina Hibs’ under-16s team were due to play a cup tie against Tynecastle Boys Club, a game the home team lost 4-1.
With under two hours before kick-off, the match was moved to another pitch which had itself been damaged by quad bikes just three weeks earlier.
Eddie Lamb, Edina Hibs club chairman and secretary of the under-16 team, said: “We arrived to put the nets up only to find the quad bikes had been there and chewed up the pitch. The damage was sufficient to render the pitch unplayable.
“And with only an hour and a half to go, we decided to use the first pitch, which had three or four weeks to recover.”
Following the damage, parents and club members have been working to repair the damage using bags of sand. But Mr Lamb is determined to create a larger, more secure pitch for the children rather than give in to the vandals.
Edina Hibs have set up a group specifically tasked with developing the facilities and preventing this type of vandalism.
Councillors, politicians, police, Hibernian FC, Hibernian Foundation and Jewel Miners Welfare are among those invited to join the working group.
Mr Lamb is also due to meet with Hibs director of football operations George Craig on Wednesday to discuss how the club might help.
He said: “We are trying to address what has happened in a positive fashion. Rather than just moaning about it, we are trying to get something organised. I have been sounding people out over the last day or so. So far we have enlisted key support.”
Mr Lamb has pledged to approach local businesses “with his begging bowl” to raise the estimated £10,000 needed for the project.
The work will involve re-instating an overgrown pitch close to the two that were damaged and erecting a perimeter fence to protect the grass.
It is hoped that the work will start some time in the New Year, giving the grass time to grow in time for the next season.
The current facilities are used by around 100 children, with all primary pupils allowed to use them for free.