Livingston vs Aberdeen postponed again, this time due to heavy rain

Livingston vs Aberdeen postponed due to an unplayable surface at the Tony Macaroni Arena after heavy rain in the build-up to kick-off; fixture was originally postponed on December 30 due to a frozen pitch

SNS - Ground staff sweep rain off the pitch ahead of the postponed Scottish Premiership match between Livingston and Aberdeen at the Tony Macaroni Arena
Image: Ground staff attempt in vain to sweep rain off the pitch at the Tony Macaroni Arena

Livingston's Scottish Premiership game with Aberdeen was postponed on Wednesday night for a second time, on this occasion after the scheduled kick-off.

Referee Steven McLean carried out a late pitch inspection and the call was taken after discussions with both management teams.

Ground staff had been sweeping water off the artificial pitch during the warm-up but it was still deemed too wet for action.

0:57
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says referee McLean made the right call

The rearranged game had initially been postponed because of a frozen pitch at the Tony Macaroni Arena on December 30.

Fifth-placed Livingston's next game is away to Celtic on Saturday, while third-placed Aberdeen take on Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes supported the decision to call the game off.

Wednesday 20th January 8:00pm

McInnes said: "It looked dangerous, it is dangerous. The amount of water on the pitch is unusual, I think it caught us out to be honest. There's no blame to Livingston here.

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"We all agreed the pitch was unsafe and the only debate we had was whether we started it or delayed the game, but the forecast was that it was to remain like this all night.

"The groundsmen were sweeping off the water but they obviously couldn't have done that once the game started. It was going to get worse.

"It's a real frustration that we've come all the way down for the second time, but there's no blame attached to Livingston.

"At no point during the day, even when we arrived at the stadium, did we think there was any doubt."

1:40
Referee Steven McLean says player safety was the key factor in his decision to postpone the match

McInnes added: "The referee, quite cleverly in my opinion, went around the senior players that he's obviously known for a long time in my team and in the Livingston team and asked their opinion.

"Obviously, managers can influence this kind of thing, but the players expressed concern, the ref then asked the players if they thought the pitch was unsafe and dangerous and the consensus from all the players was that it was. And he's right with that."

The referee said the pitch was playable when he arrived two hours before kick-off but players "from both sides" felt the pitch was unsafe as rain fell during the warm-up.

Referee McLean said: "Unfortunately it's really late in the day and it's disappointing. But my concern is player safety and that has to be the number one priority.

"There's nothing that can be done. It's just unfortunate timing of the weather conditions."

1:04
Livingston manager David Martindale says the decision to postpone was valid buts says his players were keen to play

Livingston boss David Martindale was happy to start the game but understood the decision to call it off.

"Aberdeen players had concerns but the majority of Livingston players were sitting saying they wanted to try and get the game played," he said.

"Livingston players have got the benefit of playing on this pitch and training on it too when it's been similar. Aberdeen haven't got that but I understand all parties."

When asked about the pitch's drainage, Martindale added: "What you've got under the park is basically a road made of tarmac and asphalt which is porous.

"There's thousands of small holes and it's easy for it to get frozen and that's what the rain's got to get through to drain. I'm assuming there are still parts of the tarmac frozen but I don't know."

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