Saturday 16 February 2019

East Fife lament Bohs' pitch 'shambles'

'The teams warmed up on the affected area of the pitch to try to break it down, but to no avail.' (stock picture)
'The teams warmed up on the affected area of the pitch to try to break it down, but to no avail.' (stock picture)

A decision on the rescheduling of Bohemians' IRN-BRU Scottish Challenge Cup quarter-final with East Fife is expected today.

Though in doubt from the moment Welsh referee Rob Jenkins arrived at Dalymount Park due to the part of the pitch shaded by the main stand being frozen, Saturday's tie wasn't officially called off until just minutes before the 3pm kick-off time.

The teams warmed up on the affected area of the pitch to try to break it down, but to no avail.

Embarrassed by the mess, Bohemians manager Keith Long was too annoyed to speak on the record about the postponement.

Up to 300 supporters of the Scottish League One side had travelled to Dublin while the club's official party flew over early on Saturday morning and stayed overnight.

The tie had been originally fixed for November 17 last, but was put back to facilitate Bohemians as the League of Ireland season had ended three weeks earlier.

The winners are due to meet Ross County away in the semi-finals next Friday week.

"It was a bit of a shambles, to be honest," said East Fife boss Darren Young.

"It's very disappointing, especially for the fans. We were never made aware at any point there was a wee chance it could be off.

"The referee called it off straight away. By all accounts, at one o'clock, it was never on; at 12 o'clock, it was never on.

"There was talk of trying to get another pitch, an Astro pitch. But that wasn't feasible.

"Trying to get it changed for (Sunday) morning or (Saturday) night, that's just amateur.

"We've got players who had been up since half past three, four o'clock this morning to get here - guys who had missed work to come here."

Irish Independent

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