It’s a big ‘white off’ for Gala Fairydean Rovers
A sudden snow flurry quickly turned Gala Fairydean Rovers’ Netherdale playing surface unplayable and led to the abandonment of Saturday’s home game against Bo’ness United after just 15 minutes.
The early stoppage – which came after around 30 minutes of constant snowfall – means that Rovers remain on 29 points from 18 games and in 10th place in the Lowland League.
“It was the right decision,” said Rovers manager Neil Hastings. “We didn’t want anyone getting injured on our side or Bo’ness’s side on Saturday.
"At the same time I think it was right for the game to start. The snow storm started about quarter to three and by the time we went in and finished our preparation for the game starting and coming out the pitch was white.
"But I think it was one of those ones that no-one had been on it for a period of time.
"So I think everyone was maybe hoping it would pass and when the players got moving on the pitch it would be clear.
"But unfortunately it probably got worse and talking to Max Christie, their manager, during the game he also thought it was the right call to put it off because conditions were not getting any better.
"The pitch was covered in snow to be fair and I think at that point it was impossible to see any lines on the pitch.
"We had a couple of people trying to clear them but as soon as you were clearing them it was just getting covered again.
"The main reason for the call off was that players were starting to find it a little bit uncomfortable underfoot.
"Health and safety was always the number one priority.”
Hastings admitted that Bo’ness had been slightly the better side in the few minutes played.
"I thought we started quite poorly to be honest,” he said. “They were on the front foot and a wee bit more dominant in possession.
"The game of football is wonderful in many different ways. We started very well the week before against Annan and went on to lose the game.
"I had full belief and confidence that if the weather was to clear and the game had run its course then we would have at some point come into it.
"Every team are going to have a spell when they’re on top and they were dominant and started very well.
"It’s been done by the weather and we just look to pick up that fixture again when it gets rearranged.”
This Saturday sees Rovers face an away league game against Caledonian Braves, who last Saturday went down to a 7-0 home defeat by East Kilbride.
"Obviously it was a difficult result for them at the weekend,” Hastings said. “They had a man sent off quite early on in the second half when they were 3-0 down.
"We obviously won 5-1 against Braves in the reverse fixture earlier in the season and if I’m being honest that score flattered us that day.
"First half we were under pressure but we managed to see that through and then they got a man sent off just before half-time and we scored the resultant penalty which potentially made the second half a little bit easier.
“I know their manager Ricky Waddell very well – and I think they’re a very good side.
"Some of the results they’ve had this year have been very positive.
"It’s always a difficult game going through there but fingers crossed we can get a good week’s training and get back to winning ways on Saturday.”
Rovers will again be without long term injury absentees Ben Herdman and Jack Bowman who both have severe knee injuries and will be out for the rest of this season.