Forfar Athletic’s Scottish Cup replay against Linlithgow Rose was abandoned last night after chaotic scenes at Station Park.
Kick-off of the fourth-round replay was delayed for five minutes after flares were thrown on to the pitch.
The flares were thrown from the away support end and one supporter had to be rugby tackled by a steward as he attempted to run on to the pitch with a flare in his hand.
Police also entered the away support to remove those throwing flares from the stadium. Forfar’s 3G pitch was badly damaged by the flares.
Once referee Stephen Finnie was able to start the game, the Station Park floodlights failed after just six minutes’ play.
The players were taken off the pitch and the game abandoned 18 minutes later.
Linlithgow boss David McGlynn said theperpetrators had not been Linlithgow fans and vowed to “root out the yobs” responsible.
Home chairman Alastair Donald absolved Rose of any blame, telling Forfar Athletic TV: “It’s regrettable and the Linlithgow officials are distraught about it and they’ve apologised.
“But there’s nothing for them to apologise about. It’s completely outwith their control and we’re not holding them responsible for it.”
“How can you control a mindless minority who chose to go about doing this?
“It is happening far too often infootball, however, and becoming far too prevalent. There is no room for flares at Station Park or in football at all.”
Loons secretary David McGregor explained that vouchers would be issued for the rescheduled game.
“We will have to discuss in the next 48 hours if we can even risk a 3pm kick-off on Saturday and discuss with the SFA when this tie can be played again,” he said.
“I have been here since floodlights were first installed in 1971 and thishas never happened before. Thesefloodlights have only been here a couple of years.”
Forfar manager Gary Bollan said: “It was disappointing but it was a freakincident and there was nothing anyone can do about it. On the aspect of safety, the referee made the right decision to abandon the game.”
Linlithgow boss Davie McGlynn was strong in his condemnation of the Rose supporters who disgraced their club.
“They are people who are probably not even associated with the club,” he said.
“It is young boys who have come on the pretence of this being a big game and who probably don’t even watch us on aSaturday.For more on this story, click here