Floodlights and flares: Forfar Athletic and Linlithgow Rose apologise following Scottish Cup abandonment

Photo by Chris Coutts
Photo by Chris Coutts

Tuesday night’s Scottish Cup tie between Forfar Athletic and Linlithgow Rose was abandoned due to floodlight failure.

The decision to call the game off came shortly after the kick-off had already been delayed due to crowd disorder.

A handful of away fans stormed onto the park while flares were also thrown onto the surface, causing some damage to Station Park’s artifical turf.

An electrician was called to the ground and realised the problem could not be resolved immediately, leaving no option but to abandon the game.

Both clubs were quick to apologise to fans and each other for the disappointing end to what was expected to be a roaring Scottish Cup replay following an exhilirating 3-3 draw at Prestonfield Park.

Forfar chairman Alastair Donald issued the following statement via the club’s Facebook page:

“On behalf of FAFC I’d like to apologise to all those fans who attended our abandoned match tonight.

“I want to clarify some inaccurate reporting on social media; the game was cancelled purely due to floodlight failure and nothing else.

“I also want to state that FAFC do not hold Linlithgow Rose responsible for the idiots that attempted to disrupt the game with flares. It is nearly impossible to police such incidents like this inside grounds as much bigger clubs than us have found out.

“I have to praise Linlithgow Rose officials who went out of their way to plead with the perpetrators to cease their actions.

“This incident will not be allowed to damage the great relationship between the two clubs. We will post more information in due course.”

Linlithgow Rose officials slammed the people involved in the disorder for disgracing the club’s name, and embarrassing their “true supporters”.

A club statement read:

“Tonight at Forfar a group of people purporting to be Linlithgow Rose supporters disgraced the name of our football club, our community and our town.

“These people have no place at football with Linlithgow Rose or anyone else. We apologise to our hosts at Forfar - we are aghast at what we all saw.

“The club has already started to make enquiries to identify the people involved so that we can take steps to ensure this is not repeated. If anyone has information which can help either the club or the police in investigating the disgraceful behaviour of these people, please share with us through a message on here or make contact directly with a committee member of the football club.

“Whilst ultimately it is disappointing that the game could not go ahead this evening, such technical issues can happen to any football club at any time.

“We are determined there will be no repeat of the scenes tonight and will be working closely with the authorities ahead of the re-scheduled fixture. Club officials are fully aware that our true supporters - who came in their hundreds - have been absolutely embarrassed by what they saw at Forfar tonight.”

The Loons issued a further statement on Wednesday morning, promising details on the rescheduled tie as soon as possible.