Thornton Hibs: Raging Fife outfit in three-figure compensation claim after away game is called off just an hour before kick-off

Thornton Hibs are seeking a three-figure compensation payment for travel costs after Saturday’s scheduled East of Scotland League division two game at Edinburgh South was unexpectedly called off just one hour before the scheduled 2pm kick-off time.
The pitch at Paties Road stadium was deemed unplayable by referee during a 1pm inspection on Saturday (Submitted pic)The pitch at Paties Road stadium was deemed unplayable by referee during a 1pm inspection on Saturday (Submitted pic)
The pitch at Paties Road stadium was deemed unplayable by referee during a 1pm inspection on Saturday (Submitted pic)

With the Thornton players, management and some supporters all at Paties Road Stadium from 12.30pm after driving around 35 miles to get there – on the advice of their hosts - the referee deemed one of the soaked goalmouths unplayable, infuriating the Hibs party.

"We set off at 11.45am on Saturday,” Hibs secretary Graeme Turnbull told the Fife Free Press. "So Edinburgh South had plenty of time to do a morning pitch inspection, which they didn’t do.

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"It was amateurish and we are £120 out of pocket. Six cars at 20 quid each.

"As a result we’re looking to see if we can request compensation for unnecessary travel costs. I will put together a letter this week.

"Something like this actually happened to Thornton around eight years ago when we were back in the juniors and Jeanfield came to play Thornton and there was a downpour before it.

"Because Jeanfield had travelled all the way and the match referee had put the game off, we had to fork out £160 compensation to Jeanfield.

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"That’s what happened in the juniors. I’m not sure what happens with the East of Scotland League, but we have been told to put a letter in to say we’re disappointed in the manner in which it was called off.”

Despite matchday photographs like ours appearing to show Edinburgh South’s pitch in fine condition on Saturday with the sun shining, Turnbull claimed that the reality had been very different.

“The pitch was unplayable,” Turnbull said. “The referee went to bounce the ball in one of the goalmouths and it just wouldn’t bounce at all.

"Players were walking in the goalmouth area and they were just squelching.

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"If you had gone to pass the ball it wouldn’t have moved. It just would have stuck.”

This latest postponement means that Thornton’s last four league games have all been called off and they haven’t played since a 0-0 division two draw at Hawick Royal Albert on December 3.

This Saturday, Hibs host Newburgh Juniors in the league with kick-off at 2pm.

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