THE biggest shock of transfer deadline day had nothing to do with Robbie Keane or Charles N’Zogbia. In fact, it had nothing to do with transfers. Inverurie Loco’s Scottish Cup fourth-round tie against Motherwell actually went ahead.
There is a certain irony that a cup tie postponed four times due to wintry weather should finally be played on a night when large parts of the country were paralysed by fluffy white stuff falling out of the sky.
(On that note, I was particularly amused by the BBC News report which stated the following two facts: 1) That it was the first time London’s bus services had been suspended in living memory. 2) It was the heaviest snowfall in the capital for 18 years. Implication: The snow was worse in early 1991, but the bus services still managed to function.)
Inverurie have had some nightmares with the weather this season. Their home tie against Vale of Leithen in the last round was also postponed four times before they eventually got the game on and won 4-0.
As Vale of Leithen’s website put it: “As lovely a town as Inverurie is, you wouldn’t go there for the weather.”
There was great excitement in Inverurie – which, for the record, is 16 miles north-west of Aberdeen – when the town’s Highland League side were drawn at home to SPL side Motherwell.
And there was great disappointment when the tie was called off. And then called off again, and again, and again.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, one Scottish newspaper reported that Locos had been forced to chuck out 4,000 pies – ordered to feed the sell-out crowd – as a result of the multiple postponements.
There was talk of the SFA forcing Loco to move the game away from their Harlaw Park home if they hadn’t managed to get the game in before this weekend. Fortunately, they were able to get the game on tonight. There was, even so, a light dusting of snow on the pitch, forcing the linesman to paint its markings orange and the players to use a yellow ball.
Dave Cormie’s side gave a good account of themselves, but were beaten 3-0, thanks to two goals from John Sutton – the first inside 90 seconds – and another from David Clarkson.
Motherwell will now host St Mirren in round five on Saturday. They had better pray the frost doesn’t come down again.