Linlithgow fans face being searched at Forfar cup tie

Fans threw flares onto the Station Park pitch last week
Fans threw flares onto the Station Park pitch last week
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Fans could be searched when entering tomorrow night’s William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round replay between Forfar Athletic and Linlithgow Rose following the crowd trouble which marred last week’s tie.

Smoke bombs and flares were set off by travelling supporters during the first half of the match – later abandoned due to a floodlight failure – causing damage to Station Park’s artificial surface.

And the disorder – currently the subject of investigations by Police Scotland and the Scottish Football Association – has forced Forfar to increase the police presence at tomorrow’s match.

A joint statement from Forfar and Linlithgow released today read: “Forfar Athletic and Linlithgow Rose will make a second attempt on Tuesday night at Station Park to play their William Hill Scottish Cup replay, after the unfortunate electrical problems within the ground that contributed to floodlight failure and the eventual abandonment of the fixture last midweek.

“The game on Tuesday of last week was also marred by crowd disorder including the release of smoke bombs and the throwing of flares from a section of the covered terracing, a most worrying aspect which has no place in our game.

“These incidents are now the subject of enquiries by Police Scotland and the Scottish Football Association.

“Both Forfar Athletic and Linlithgow Rose officials hope that tomorrow’s night’s clash will be enjoyed by a healthy support from both clubs as well as any neutrals who are in attendance.

“Sadly but with the safety of all spectators in mind, following last week’s events, there will be a much larger police presence on Tuesday night both inside and outside the ground, as well as increased stewarding.

“This, of course, will impact on the finances of the host club. The turnstiles will be open at 7pm prompt and spectators are urged to arrive as early as possible.

“Where police or stewards deem it necessary spectators may be searched prior to entering the ground.

“In conclusion, the message to all is please come along to what hopefully will be a great evening’s entertainment, support your side whether it be the ‘Loons’ or the ‘Rose’ in the proper manner and, at the end of 90 minutes or if extra time and penalties are required, may the best team on the night progress to the fifth round of that wonderful competition with such great tradition, the Scottish Cup.”