McNaughton reflects on a 'bizarre' 9-0 loss at home

ARNISTON Rangers manager Brian McNaughton is still trying to come to terms with the "most bizarre game of my 15-year managerial career".

He was referring to Saturday's 9-0 home defeat by Glenrothes in the East Region Premier Division which saw Arniston finish the game with seven men.

They had three players - Mike Herd, Dougie Cunnison and Jordan Cropley - sent off while another one had jumped in the shower when it seemed the game was about to be abandoned.

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According to McNaughton, it should never have started in the first place and he was left totally bemused by a series of subsequent decisions by rookie referee Jordan Stokoe.

"In the 15 years I've been a manager I've never seen a referee have such an impact on a scoreline - it was bizarre," he said. "The game should never have kicked off. The pitch had some dangerous parts on it when it was inspected at 8.45 in the morning.

"And, while it might have been okay if it had stayed dry, the fact of the matter is that it started to rain just afrer 1pm and never stopped.

"The referee checked the pitch again at half-time then, after 71 minutes had gone, he almost abandoned it due to an area in front of the dug-out being treacherous.

"I had to pull players back out of the showers when he decided to play on and I will be very interested indeed in his report on the game."

McNaughton, who was dismissed from the touchline during the game, added: "The whole afternoon was mental - losing 9-0 is not the sort of thing that happens to us.

"Fortunately, only one of the three players - Jordan Cropley - got a straight red, but I've got another player doubtful for this weekend's game at Broxburn due to the fact he hurt his hamstring as a result of slipping on the surface."