Berwick Rangers and Montrose left in dark after power failure

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Berwick Rangers and Montrose were left in the dark at Shielfield when a power failure meant they were unable to play their League Two fixture.

The game, which had been re-scheduled from Saturday because of Berwick’s involvement in a Scottish Cup replay against Culter, was postponed following a break in power to the stadium.

Shielfield Park, Berwick-upon-Tweed. Berwick Rangers ground.

Shielfield Park, Berwick-upon-Tweed. Berwick Rangers ground.

When players, officials and some fans arrived at the ground, everything looked fine for the 7.45pm kick-off.

But referee George Salmond said he realised there was a problem when the lights went off in his changing room, and when he went out onto the pitch some of the floodlights were not functioning properly.

“To be fair to both clubs and the fans, we wanted to give everyone the chance of rectifying the problem and get the game on,” said Salmond.

“Scottish Power workmen arrived at the ground. I was prepared to wait until 8.15pm before making a final decision, but when that time came and went, and there was still no power, I had no alternative but to call it off.

Tweedmouth Rangers v Amble in the Robsons Cup final at Shielfield

Tweedmouth Rangers v Amble in the Robsons Cup final at Shielfield

“Some of the Montrose players live in Aberdeen and they have a long journey back home. If the game had started any later it could have been well after 10pm before the match ended and that would have been unfair on them.”

Berwick chairman Brian Porteous, who is also the club’s safety officer, said:”This is a very frustrating and costly incident for everyone.

“But I would like to stress this is not the fault of Berwick Rangers. It appears there may be some lights out in some of the houses around the stadium as well and it looks like the fault lies elsewhere.

“This is a first for us and I certainly hope it is the last.”

Montrose manager Stuart Garden was equally frustrated when he said: “We have had a long journey down here. It’s unfortunate and it is no ones fault, but we now face another long journey up the road again without a ball being kicked.”

Berwick boss Ian Little sympathised with his opposite number and his players, but he added:: “This has an effect on everyone. Some of the players have had to finish work early to get here, the fans are left without seeing a game and it’s the same for you guys (the Press).

“I have been at Berwick for almost ten years now and I can never remember anything like this happening before.

“It’s frustrating, but at the end of the day there is nothing we can do about it. We can’t play in the dark, and even if the floodlights had been working, which some of them were, there was still the safety aspect as far as the fans were concerned.”