SAUCHIE boss Fraser Duncan has taken aim at “amateurish” Blackburn United after their relegation clash was abandoned in controversial circumstances.

The Reds had raced into a 2-0 lead at New Murrayfield Park in their bid to avoid the drop from the Premier Division, thanks to goals from stand-in skipper Craig Donaldson and Mark Finlayson.

However, despite the best efforts of the home side’s committee to clear the pitch, referee Ryan Lee decided enough was enough shortly after an hour, following complaints from the Blackburn players about the surface.

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Protests from furious Sauchie players fell on deaf ears and it is still unclear whether or not the clubs will be made to play a full replay of the match.

“It was very, very amateurish, even worse than that, from the other team especially,” Duncan told Advertiser Sport. “They are the ones who told us all week the game would be on and we gave them more than enough opportunities to postpone it.

“The whole of Scotland was on lockdown on Saturday and the league would have been more than happy to cancel the game.

“We contacted the league and they said that would be fine but Blackburn were insistent the game would go ahead.

“The final outcome was massively disappointing and it is a huge blow for us and a kick in the teeth.

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“There was only going to be one winner in the game and I was so happy and impressed with the way we approached that game.

“We would have been a match for anyone on Saturday with the way we were playing and Blackburn couldn’t cope with us.”

He added: “The referee was put in a difficult situation. Blackburn put on a player and as soon as he was on the pitch he went up to the referee and told him he didn’t feel safe and he wanted the game called off.

“That came from the dugout and I’m not stupid and I’m not a mug. That was done by them and it was a tactic to get the game called off.”

The abandonment is the latest blow to rock Sauchie in a season which has brought managerial upheaval and a points deduction for fielding ineligible players.

It must have felt like the world is against the Beechwood Park side with time running out to ensure they are playing amongst the East of Scotland’s elite again next season.

Boss Duncan knows it is crucial his players channel their frustrations from Saturday in the right way when the sides eventually meet again.

“It gives me a headache for the return game as it could prove to be a tough affair and we can’t afford to slip up,” he said.

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“I told the boys they cannot take their anger out on anyone else, or on themselves, but they have to focus it for the return game against Blackburn.

“We need to make sure we go back there and they don’t even get a chance to get anywhere near us.”

Blackburn United officials did not respond to an approach for comment from Advertiser Sport in time for yesterday’s deadline.

However, a message on the club’s website read: “Yesterday’s match at home to Sauchie was abandoned on 61 minutes by the referee due to worsening underfoot conditions due to several heavy snow snowers.

“The visitors were leading 2-0 at the time. The match will be re-arranged for a later date.”