Buckie Thistle are to investigate playing at alternative venues after their Breedon Highland League game against Banks o’ Dee was postponed.
The fixture at Victoria Park passed a 9.30am inspection, but referee Lewis Brown called it off when he arrived at the ground, with both sides already there.
The Jags haven’t played at home since November 18, one corner of the surface is particularly soft underfoot, which led to the postponement.
Buckie believe the issue is being caused by something outwith the ground.
Club president Garry Farquhar says they are investigating what can be done. But with Dee set to be returning to Victoria Park on Wednesday night in the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup, Thistle may need to find a new venue.
‘It’s something we need to address’
Farquhar said: “I’m hugely disappointed that we passed an inspection in the morning and then the game is called off more than an hour before kick-off.
“We recognise there’s an issue with the drainage in that part of the ground.
“It’s something we’re trying to address, but unfortunately in this case the measures we’ve taken haven’t been good enough.
“We had free admission for the supporters and it’s really disappointing people aren’t getting the opportunity to enjoy the game.
“I’m gutted with the decision, but I’ve looked at the corner in question and I can see why the game has been called off.
“We accept it for what it is, but what makes me angry is that we’re a victim of a problem that’s coming from outwith the ground.
“We know the effect it’s had on us this season with games being off and we’re getting very little cooperation with the areas that we think are causing the problem.
“It’s an uphill battle to try to get it resolved, it’s an external drainage issue that is causing us a problem inside the ground.
“We’re going to have a meeting about approaching another club to see if we could use their ground.
“We’re falling too far behind with our games, we’re supposed to be playing Banks o’ Dee again on Wednesday in the Aberdeenshire Cup and as things stand just now it doesn’t look like that would go ahead.
“So we’re going to have a meeting about an alternative venue.”
Buckie manager Graeme Stewart was disappointed that the fixture wasn’t called off in the morning.
He added: “The game couldn’t go on. Our groundsman Alan Grant and his helpers have done everything they can so I wouldn’t criticise them at all.
“Alan has been working on the pitch all week, but in my view it should have been called off this morning.
“I apologise to Banks o’ Dee because they’ve spent money on a bus coming up.
“All in all it’s a bit disaster, you can’t play on it. We need to sort it out and the club will need to look into that.
“We’ve got about 15 home games to play, we will have to look at other venues and looking at Wednesday’s game, I believe that has to be played on Wednesday.
“We’ve got a good record at home so changing venue would hamper us, but we’ll have to look at it.
“As it stands we can’t see Wednesday being on at Victoria Park with the weather that’s coming so we’ll need to figure something out.
“We’re two thirds of the way through the season and we’ve got more than half the games to go so it’s not ideal.
“But players say they prefer playing to training so it will be Saturday, Wednesday all the way.”