BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Alloa Athletic boss Jack Ross reckons Scottish football has “gone soft” after seeing his side’s Championship clash against Morton abandoned after 68 minutes.
Referee Alan Muir called off the fixture with the hosts leading 1-0 and on course to register a second consecutive league win for the first time since August 2014
The decision appeared to be made due to the snow covering the lines on the pitch, albeit Mr Muir declined the opportunity to explain his exact reasoning.
And Ross, an avid American football fan, cited the winter wonderland he witnessed in the recent NFL contest between the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks as he expressed his dissatisfaction.
“I like my NFL and I watched a game in Minnesota last week and it was minus-31,” Ross said. “What’s happened to us? We’ve gone a bit soft in terms of what we do with football in this country.
“When you’ve gone towards 70 minutes, you should be finishing the game.
“There is no point getting upset or losing my temper about it, because it is done and I realise he is in a difficult position, but I disagree with the decision.”
On the first occasion the lines of the pitch became indistinguishable, the game was delayed for around three minutes while they were brushed clear following talks between the officials and coaching staff.
However, the decision to abandon the game was made ten minutes later, with no further consultation.
“I was a wee bit disappointed with the manner in which it was done,” continued Ross “Having the initial conversation with us was great, but the decision to call the game off without further consultation was strange.
“I’ve had a sensible conversation with Alan [Muir], I have plenty of time for him as an individual, and he has since explained his reasoning. I’m going to disagree with a couple of those reasons.
“We cleared the lines and you were getting another ten minutes out of them before they needed cleared again. My argument is: keep doing that.”
Belying their status as the lowest league goal-scorers in Britain, Alloa claimed the lead after 41 minutes when on-loan Celtic forward Michael Duffy fizzed a sublime low shot past Derek Gaston from 18 yards.
It was the least Alloa deserved and, if not for Ton goalkeeper Derek Gaston who denied Duffy, Isaac Layne, Colin Hamilton and Robbie Crawford, they would have racked up a more handsome lead.
“We should take confidence and belief from the way we played,” added Ross. “In that regard, it wasn’t a completely fruitless afternoon. But it could have been so much better.”