Linlithgow Rose hit hard by late cup call-off

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LINLITHGOW ROSE were today left counting the cost of a late William Hill Scottish Cup postponement which has left them several thousands of pounds out of pocket.

The junior outfit’s third-round clash at Highland League side Wick Academy was called off just 40 minutes before kick-off on Saturday with the Harmsworth Park surface deemed unplayable.

The debacle angered Linlithgow secretary Jim Harkins, who said: “We asked Wick for an inspection on Friday before we left for our overnight stay at Brora – which cost us in excess of £3000 – and they looked at the park at 1.30pm saying it was playable. However, that came from their groundsman. We asked the SFA for clarification and they sent a referee for a 3.30pm inspection and he deemed it doubtful but playable.

“When we arrived at the ground on Saturday, it was plainly obvious the pitch couldn’t have been playable on Friday never mind Saturday.

“Wick, though, wanted the game to go ahead. The match referee said it was very doubtful but gave it until 2.20pm before throwing a ball several times in the air to see if there was a bounce. He quickly made the right decision that the game was off saying the surface was dangerous.”

Linlithgow, who made a 500-mile round trip for the match, have decided to head north at 7am on the morning of next Saturday’s rescheduled game and Harkins added: “We may have further problems should the game be off next week as Wick can ask for the game to be played midweek with a 7.30pm kick-off.”