Stevie Farrell frustrated after match abandoned

Stranraer Boss Stevie Farrell was left frustrated on Saturday afternoon when his side’s home clash was called off – 37 minutes into the encounter.

The League One side had just equalised through Scott Agnew when referee Gavin Ross decided the game was no longer safe for the play to resume.

“The players are frustrated; the managers are frustrated; the fans are frustrated,” explains Farrell. “The longer the match went on, the more it become farcical! I actually thought he should have given us a penalty – if he had, he might’ve ended the game sooner as I thought it was a stonewaller, but he didn’t. I thought it might have been in his mind to level the game up before calling it off and when he didn’t give the penalty I said “I think we are going to go the distance here”.

After we scored, I think it was the back-pass from Raith at their centre that he obviously felt the game had become too dangerous. With the weather forecast for the rest of the afternoon, it was probably the right decision.”

There was doubts over the game before kick-off, with some surprised the match even commenced initially.

“There was water lying on the park,” continues Farrell. “You have got players trying to run with it; you have players going in for tackles and slipping and things like that. You become frustrated because you just want to be involved with the football on a Saturday afternoon, the fans want to see a good spectacle, but, the game was becoming a bit of a farce.”

Both managers wanted the game to continue with the tie level at one apiece.

“I spoke to Barry [Smith – Raith’s manager] after we scored and I asked him his thoughts – I deliberately waited as I didn’t want to try get the match called off when we were down 1-0 as that wouldn’t be fair – and we both agreed “let’s play it” but the referee came across 2 or 3 minutes later and told us we were unable to play the match any longer.”

Smith was in agreement with the decision, but not the timing.

“I thought we were at it today, right from the first minute, in difficult circumstances: it is disappointing from that point of view. Is it the right decision? Yeah, but, I think it either could have been postponed earlier or beforehand as the ball was holding up from the first minute. We have travelled a long way down here, so we want the game to played, but, as I have said, I don’t see the difference between five minutes into the game to when he called it off.

I am not criticising the referee, here. He has a difficult job and has made his decision. The boys really appreciated the support the fans gave this afternoon and that is why they went across to them at the end of the match. Coming to Stranraer is a difficult journey at the best of times, never mind in the weather conditions we have today.”

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