One midweek evening during the next few weeks, the players of St Mirren and Ross County reconvene in Paisley. They go through their warm-ups as the fans of the respective sides congregate in the stands, then return indoors to ready themselves for kick-off. A few minutes later they emerge on to the pitch familiar fashion but, instead of taking their usual positions, gather instead around the far touchline where one of the home players stands holding the ball. The referee blows his whistle, said player throws towards a team-mate and the game begins.
Just over 38 minutes later, the official signals for full-time. St Mirren record a 2-0 victory with Paul McGowan and Steven Thompson credited as the goalscorers despite the fact neither side actually scored on the night. "That would be the fair outcome," said Derek Adams, speaking on Saturday evening after the SPFL Premiership match between the sides was cut short seven minutes into the second half when referee Willie Collum correctly declared the pitch waterlogged.
It might sound fanciful, but the County manager was not speaking in jest. Rather Adams made the suggestion as someone who has had time to ponder the difficulties inherent in replaying fixtures that have already begun, his side's previous outing against Inverness Caledonian Thistle having lasted only until the interval before a power cut caused an early curtailment.
Adams' rationale is simple. To his mind it is unjust that his side, having been two goals behind and apparently unlikely to earn any reward from Saturday's game, are given the opportunity to play the match anew. "We got out of jail," was his succinct assessment. Instead, he proposes that - starting next season - a new ruling is instituted whereby abandoned encounters are restarted at the point where they stopped. Any goals would stand, unlike the current method whereby only bookings and red cards remain in the records.
It is an approach favoured in Spain and the Netherlands, among others, but while it perhaps seems a fairer course of action, it offers more questions than answers. For example, would the two teams be obliged to select the same XI and employ the same tactics? What if one, or both, goalscorers was unavailable? Would Collum still be the referee? Then there is the inability to replicate the exact conditions and the issue of asking fans to travel for an abridged contest.
Still, it would have been difficult to find anyone connected with St Mirren unwilling to accept such an outcome on Saturday evening, not least chairman Stewart Gilmour who professed himself bemused by the decision to abort despite the fact the ball did not bounce on certain parts of the pitch. However, it was hard to see what else Collum could have done. Having led the players off, the referee allowed the ground staff the best part of 30 minutes to poke, prod and fork the surface and then tested it himself with an extensive repertoire of rolls, throws and kicks - all to soundtrack of pantomime cheers and boos - before reluctantly making the decision.
The abandonment was rotten luck for the Paisley side, though, with Lennon's men well on their way to a third victory in four matches and one that would have propelled them into ninth place in the division. "The safety of the players has always got to be the priority but I didn't think it was that bad to be honest," said Thompson. "Perhaps in the wide areas there was one or two sticky parts but I thought it could have gone on. We were desperate to get back out but I take it it would be a lot different in the other dressing room."
It was, both Adams and goalkeeper Mark Brown pointing towards an incident just seconds before the players were taken off during which a pass from Brian McLean held up in a puddle, affording John McGinn the chance to exercise Brown. "When it gets like that I think it is best to abandon it but I can understand St Mirren's frustration," he said.