(Match abandoned after 20 minutes)
June 4, 2009 – Olivebank Park, Musselburgh
Game 101 for the season might be consigned to Room 101 after it was abandoned after barely twenty minutes play.
The game, an MJM Flooring Cup semi final was only just getting into it’s stride when Musselburgh’s no 8 Martin Murphy went down in the centre circle. At the time he was assumed to have suffered a broken leg, but it has since been reported as a dislocated kneecap, a really nasty sounding injury.
An ambulance made it onto Olivebank within ten minutes but before he was whisked away to hospital the match referee made a rather controversial decision to call a halt to proceedings.
There were some angry words exchanged in the aftermath of the abandonment, mainly between the respective managers, but it seemed pretty clear to me that both sides were happy to finish the game – which makes the referee’s decision somewhat bizarre.
It was a great pity because the opening exchanges indicated that it might be a decent game.
Whitburn arrived late and when I got into the park at 7pm, just fifteen minutes before kick-off, there were only eight of their players warming up.
They had a full complement by kick off time but they got off to a predictably slow start and Burgh had a couple of half chances before the unfortunate injury to their player.
On a personal level the abandonment means the waste of an evening, and £5 admission down the pan, but I suppose any inconvenience pales into insignificance considering that the injured player is unlikely to play again for some quite considerable time.
For players at this level, such a serious injury may also cause financial hardship, depending on what they make their living at.
According to a discussion on the Pie & Bovril forum, the replay looks set to be played on Tuesday, June 9 when the sides will hope to win through to meet Linlithgow Rose in the final after they defeated Penicuik in the other semi final.
For the record this was my first abandonment of the season, although I was unfortunate enough to be inside Durham City’s Arnott Stadium in December when their game against Newcastle Blue Star was postponed five minutes before kick off! A frozen plastic pitch no less!