Club denies sabotaging match '˜so players could watch Old Firm game'

A junior football club has been accused of sabotaging a match - so its players could watch the Old Firm showdown between Rangers and Celtic.

Kilsyth Rangers called the match off because of plumbing problems at their Duncansfield Park home ground. Picture: Michael Gillen

Kilsyth Rangers, dubbed the ‘Wee Gers’, called off last week’s home match with Darvel, citing plumbing issues at Duncansfield Park.

But the chairman of Darvel has launched an astonishing attack on their SJFA West Region First Division rivals, branding the reason for the call-off a ‘terrible excuse’.

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John Gall believes that the junior clash, scheduled for 2pm on the day Rangers played Celtic at 12.15pm, could have gone ahead on Friday night, or at an alternative venue on the Saturday.

Gall told the Daily Record: “[The game] was called off on Friday morning. They said there was a water problem. All we got was a simple email to say, ‘The game is off tomorrow because of water.’

“I run a business that uses gallons and gallons of water a year and if I’ve got a water problem I have it sorted in a few hours.

“We reckon it’s no coincidence the Wee Rangers game is called off on the day of an Old Firm derby. Rangers v Celtic, September weekend holiday – well, you make your own conclusions.”

And Gall claims that efforts made by Darvel to switch the tie to their Recreation Park ground in Ayrshire were ignored by Kilsyth, adding: “No one from Kilsyth has contacted us to explain the situation.

“We had a bus booked with fans to go up and they lost out. At least three games had their venue changed to the opposition’s ground on the Friday night or Saturday morning. But a venue switch wasn’t even offered to us.”

Gall added that his players were ‘raging’ at facing a Wednesday night trip to Kilsyth to play the postponed fixture.

But Kilsyth president Russell McKay said the accusations were ‘out of order’, adding: “The accusation we put the game off because of the Old Firm match is ridiculous. We wouldn’t deceive or con anybody like that.

“There was a problem with our water supply. We had to cancel the game because we didn’t want anybody to play a full 90 minutes and then realise there was no hot water for showers.”

Darvel currently lie fifth in the First Division with Kilsyth in 12th, three points above basement side Shettleston.