'Doughballs with the snowballs': Livingston boss David Martindale hits out at Rangers fans
The Lions manager, whose side lost 3-1 to the champions, walked onto the pitch to stand with his players and plead with the visiting support to stop throwing snow – which had built up in front of the advertising boards – onto the artificial pitch.
At a time when Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s side were 2-1 up, there was a 10-minute delay while the pitch was cleared, and Martindale believes the situation made a mockery of Scottish football in a match beamed live by Sky Sports.
He said: “We shouldn’t be standing here talking about the doughballs with the snowballs.
“I just don’t understand it. You could maybe see it if your team is getting beat and there is a bit of frustration there, but when your team is winning 2-1, to hold up the second half, I don’t understand that at all.
“I just think it’s a little bit of a blight on Scottish football. It’s on national telly and people are watching that so, come on, screw the nut a wee bit.
“I know the majority of Rangers fans were not throwing snowballs but it doesn’t look good for anyone.
“It doesn’t look good for Rangers, it doesn’t look good for Livingston and it doesn’t look good for Scottish football. That’s my take on it anyway.
“Rangers should be going away from here talking about the 3-1 win in Gio’s first game, their first three points under the new manager.
“But instead we are talking about the Rangers fans throwing snowballs at the Livingston players at the start of the second half.
“It’s just stupid and I don’t understand it.”
Martindale rued a wonder save by Allan McGregor from Alan Forrest while his side trailed 2-1 just before the break.
He said: “You want to be talking about the football so fair play to Rangers.
“Overall they deserved the three points but for the majority of it they knew they were in a game.
“At 2-0 they probably thought they were going to cruise the game but we got back into it.
“Allan McGregor pulled off a fantastic save, Alan Forrest probably should have done a little bit better but had that gone in it would have been a different second half.”
Van Bronckhorst praised his side’s performance in his first domestic match in charge.
The Dutchman told Sky Sports: “I think we controlled the game.
“We had a great start in the first 20, 25 minutes and scored two goals. First goal was excellent, second goal was also really good.
“I think after that we lost a little bit of the intention of playing and also the speed of play.
“We were a bit sloppy and of course the 2-1 made it a real game. I think second half we controlled more, we didn’t give any chances away.
“If you control so much of the game you need to make sure you finish the game as early as possible and we kept Livingston too long in the game.
“Sakala from the corner kick I think was a relief for us because it was 3-1 and after that we kept the ball and didn’t give any chances to play anymore.”