Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters says a two-hour outbreak of heavy rain left no prospect of their League Two match against Kelty Hearts going ahead.
The match was postponed after referee Dan McFarlane deemed the Borough Briggs surface unplayable during a 6.15pm pitch inspection.
Tonight’s Game vs Kelty Hearts FC has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
We will update everyone when we find out the re-scheduled date. pic.twitter.com/wlXrmUuH2j
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) December 7, 2021
Kelty’s were initially due to travel north on Saturday, however their Scottish Cup replay against Montrose on Saturday had prompted the quick rearrangement of the fixture by the SPFL.
Tatters says Elgin’s surface had been in fine condition prior to mid-afternoon, when incessant rain left the pitch unsafe for both sets of players.
He said: “The pitch was perfect until about 3.45pm when it started raining. It just kept on raining, it built up and up.
“We couldn’t put the game off without the referee being here. We thought it would be all right, but then it just kept going.
“At the halfway line there was a patch that was just not getting rid of the water. By about 5.30pm the water was all over the place, and it was never going to be on.
“We could have got a local referee along, but by then the SPFL told us to just wait for the match referee to arrive.
“Gone are the days when it’s like Derby County playing at the Baseball Ground. You’ve got a duty of care on the players.
“If you want a decent game of football, you’ve got to play it on a reasonable surface.
“Although the surface itself is perfect, there’s just a lot of lying water.”
Both clubs left frustrated by wasted journey
The postponement came as a huge frustration to both clubs with a number of Elgin’s players based south of the Highlands.
🙈🤯😡 shambles asking part time players, take days off work, 6 days notice to travel through a yellow warning, 4 and half hours on bus to get called off!! Some common sense would be nice to be part of the thinking behind scheduling. https://t.co/EWQ9K89LJk
— KevinThomsonAcademy (@KThomsonAcademy) December 7, 2021
The wintry travelling conditions had delayed Kelty’s team bus, which would have resulted in the match kicking off later than the scheduled time of 7.45pm had it gone ahead.
Tatters added: “Kelty were stuck on the A9 at Ballinluig for a while anyway. Even after they got past that they wouldn’t have got here until 7.45pm or even 8pm.
“It was going to continue, it was a 100% forecast for rain until around 9pm so it was not going to stop.”
No rescheduled date has been set for the match against the League Two leaders.
Tatters says a hospitality event which went ahead on the game’s original date help to soften the blow at twice missing out on a home fixture.
Why not come and join us for a great day out including a Q&A with Management & Players.
Package prices can be found on our website 🍺🥧
We have limited spaces available so contact the Club if interested.
Hopefully see you Saturday 🖤 pic.twitter.com/NkwmLK1L0k
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) December 1, 2021
He added: “On Saturday we had 150 people booked for hospitality. We lost that, but we put on a quick Q&A with three players and the management staff, and 76 people wanted to continue with their parties.
“That went really well, but we didn’t have hospitality for this game as it’s not worth it for midweek matches.”
The call-off means Elgin have now not played for a fortnight, with their next fixture away to Annan Athletic on Saturday.
Tatters is optimistic Gavin Price’s men will get back to action at Galabank despite the poor upcoming forecast.
He added: “We are at Annan on Saturday, which is an astroturf pitch. That’s the advantage of having them.
“Whether you like them or not, you can play on them at anything above minus five degrees.”