MOTHERWELL yesterday issued an apology for any inconvenience caused to travelling Highland fans by the early morning postponement of yesterday's televised SPFL encounter with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, writes Stewart Fisher.
The Fir Park club, chasing a sixth successive league win, were thwarted by the heavy rain which had fallen in Lanarkshire in the previous 48 hours, with referee John Beaton deeming the pitch unfit for play at an 8am inspection. That would have been the time when Caley Thistle supporters would have been leaving in order to make the 12.45pm kick-off.
The Lanarkshire club have suffered various problems in recent times getting weather-hit matches played at Fir Park, but there was little accounting yesterday for the downpour, which saw approximately 180mm of rainfall in the last 19 days, around six times the usual monthly average.
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Head groundsman Mikey Ellis had been hopeful the pitch would have dried out overnight, but two areas in particular, in front of the East Stand at half way and at the East/South corner, were saturated, and the match official had no hesitation in calling the match off.
"An inspection was called for 8am this morning and the hope was that although the pitch was and is very wet, favourable conditions through the night would have seen it dry out to the point where it was playable," said a Motherwell FC statement.
"Unfortunately, it wasn't enough and match official John Beaton was forced to call the game off after inspecting it early this morning. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."
The SPFL have yet to announce a rearranged date for the fixture.