Linlithgow slam fans who threw flares at abandoned cup tie

Fans threw flares onto the pitch during the Scottish Cup replay between Forfar Athletic and Linlithgow Rose. Picture Ian Rutherford
Fans threw flares onto the pitch during the Scottish Cup replay between Forfar Athletic and Linlithgow Rose. Picture Ian Rutherford
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Linlithgow Rose manager David McGlynn last night vowed to root out those who shamed their Scottish Cup dream at Forfar last night.

Four flares were set off in the section of Station Park housing supporters of the Junior side, causing mayhem as their fourth-round replay was abandoned due to floodlight failure after just six minutes.

McGlynn insisted that those responsible for throwing smoke bombs onto the pitch to damage the 3-G surface were not real supporters of the East Super League side.

Two flares were let off just before kick-off and a further two after the lights had failed, forcing police to make two arrests on the night in the wake of both Celtic and Dundee United fans doing similar things in recent weeks. The angry Rose manager pledged not to stand for the unruly minority who were believed to have been drinking in the Angus town since early lunchtime.

McGlynn said: “We’re a football club. We’re not going to be associated with idiots who just come and do stupid things with drink. It is a family game. We’re a community club and there’s kids who support us. So we can’t have people behaving like that.

“The Linlithgow fans are very loyal to the club. They’re people who’ve probably not been involved with the club before. They’ve just come up under the pretence of being supporters and because it’s a big game. It’s young boys who don’t actually come and watch us on a Saturday.

“It’s annoying but the club will obviously get names and they know the bus company they’ve travelled with. So we’ll see who booked it and we’ll be able to do something about it.

“The committee have found out which coach they came with. They’ve found out some of the names so we can go and rectify it. We can’t have that, people being associated with the club like that.”

McGlyyn’s sentiments were echoed by Forfar club secretary
Dave McGregor, who revealed there was substantial damage to their pitch after the club tried for fully 25 minutes to get the lights back on.

McGregor said: “It’s a major concern. The pitch is fairly badly damaged. That’s what you get with a 3-G Pitch.

“It’s certainly not Linlithgow Rose’s fault. It seems some people have just attache themselves to their club.

“It’s the last thing we expected. There was a huge crowd at Prestonfield for the first tie which made for a terrific atmosphere.

“There’s definitely not any place for this sort of thing in football.

“A major fuse blew in the floodlights after just a few minutes. Although we managed to get some of the lights going again, the referee felt on safety reasons it just wasn’t possible.”

Forfar face a race against time to have their floodlights ready in time for Saturday’s home clash with Stenhousemuir. Manager Gary Bollan said: “When the lights go out it’s a freak incident and there’s nothing anybody can do 
about it.

“They couldn’t find the fault so, in the interests of safety, the referee has done the right thing by abandoning the game.”