Fraserburgh praise volunteers for their efforts to get pitch ready for Rangers clash

Fraserburgh chairman Finlay Noble at Bellslea.

Fraserburgh have thanked volunteers who worked through the night to try to make the Bellslea pitch playable for their Scottish Cup tie with Rangers.

Broch supporters helped club officials work on the pitch all through the night on Friday in an attempt to get the fourth round tie on.

Plummeting temperatures over the last week meant that frost was a real issue.

A pitch inspection was held at Bellslea on Saturday at noon.

To try to make the pitch playable, club officials along with around 120 volunteers who turned up worked all through the night.

Sadly, though, the pitch was deemed unplayable when the inspection took place.

The game has been rescheduled to Wednesday, January 31, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

However, the club have thanked the volunteers who came to help.

They turned up with supplies of soup and sandwiches and space heaters to try to help thaw out the pitch.

Fraserburgh’s safety officer, Frank Goodall, said: “Our message to them is just a massive thank you for their efforts. It was phenomenal to see everyone come together.

“Ok, in the end it was a bit fruitless – but the effort that everyone put in was just brilliant.

“From the club point of view we just can’t be thankful enough for the effort.

“The displays in the town have just been brilliant.

“People brought space heaters, cables, sandwiches and soup.

“Somebody came in early on Saturday morning with pies.

“Everyone was just doing everything they could to keep everyone going.

“The community spirit was just brilliant.

“It was something that had to be tried.

“It’s one of those things you don’t know what to say about it because it was so good to see and be part of.

“We had to do something and try something and everyone just chipped in together.”

Goodall was amazed as more and more people kept turning up as the night went on.

He added: “That’s the power of social media, it’s a great tool nowadays.

“One post was put up and people were getting texts from their friends abroad saying ‘have you seen this? You’ve got a space heater get down there.’

“Folk were turning up at 11pm because they had a text from a friend.

“They were coming down and staying for hours to help out.

“Everybody wanted to chip in and get the game on – it was good to see.

“Fans of small clubs have got a different mentality.

“They will do anything and everything to help out the club.

“That’s what it was, you wouldn’t get that with a big team.

“It’s a small-town club and it’s happened before with other teams and it all came together on Friday night for us.

“It was the power of social media and everyone came and chipped in.”

Despite the disappointment of the game being postponed Goodall believes the correct decision was made.

Temperatures were below freezing again yesterday morning in the north-east.

Even if Bellslea had passed Saturday’s inspection the game may well have been called off yesterday morning.

“You can’t beat mother nature, you can’t battle the elements like that,” Goodall said.

“We tried our best to get the game on and it was a valiant effort, thanks to everyone involved because it was just brilliant.

“Fraserburgh was like an ice rink yesterday so it wouldn’t have been favourable for people standing about.

“The correct decision was made and we made it early enough to stop anyone from travelling, which was the right thing to do.

“I saw some of the comments from fans of bigger teams after the postponement was announced saying that teams like us shouldn’t be in the cup – yes, we should.

“You look at the community effort and the spirit that everyone was in to try to get the game on – that’s what it is all about.

“It’s the brilliant thing about the Scottish Cup that smaller teams can get in and try to battle the big boys and it just brings everyone together.”

The cup tie with the Gers was going to be broadcast live by Sky.

However, it is not yet known if it will be shown on the new date of January 31.

Sky are meeting early this week to decide whether to show the game.

Match tickets for yesterday’s game will be valid a week on Wednesday.

Refunds are available for anyone who is unable to attend.

Anyone who requires a refund is asked to e-mail fraserburghfc@highlandleague.com

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