BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
The Scottish Football Association have provided Wick Academy and Linlithgow Rose with four new dates for their ill-fated Scottish Cup clash should it be postponed for an incredible sixth time today.
Linlithgow lost an estimated £3,000 when the tie was called off just 40 minutes from kick-off on the original date of November 28.
Since then, Wick’s Harmsworth Park has been deemed unplayable on four more occasions.
Last night’s proposed encounter was called off following a pitch inspection on Sunday afternoon and another is scheduled for this afternoon to decide whether junior side Linlithgow should set off for their new date with their Highland League hosts tomorrow evening.
If that one falls foul of the weather, Rose had been hoping the SFA would allow the tie to be held over until the New Year and permit it to go ahead on January 9 – the date of the fourth round.
However, the clubs have been instructed they will have to try again on Monday and Wednesday next week (December 21 and 23) and the following week (December 28 and 30) until they get the match played.
Linlithgow secretary Jim Harkins has already bemoaned the difficulty his club has in piecing together a squad because of players having to take holidays in order to make the 530-mile round trip to Caithness – and then cancel them and book new days off due to the postponements.
With the East Superleague outfit compensating their players in such circumstances, it has also proved costly.
Harkins said: “We are really hoping it goes ahead on Wednesday night and then that’s it.
“We’re actually not too bad for Wednesday in terms of players. There are a couple who just can’t get off their work but others who are okay.
“So, hopefully we can get the tie played and we can go up there and get through to the next round.”