ABANDONED!

Peterhead’s crucial meeting with Annan Athletic was called off in controversial circumstances at Bamoor on Saturday.

Referee Colin Steven took the decision to abandon the match between League Two’s first and third placed teams after only 21 minutes as the ground was battered by heavy wind and rain.

SPFL 2'PETERHEAD V ANNAN ATHLETIC'(DUNCAN BROWN)''REFEREE COLIN STEVEN (R) AND HIS ASSISTANTS LEAVE THE PITCH WITH JIM MCINALLY AFTER ABANDONING THE MATCH

SPFL 2'PETERHEAD V ANNAN ATHLETIC'(DUNCAN BROWN)''REFEREE COLIN STEVEN (R) AND HIS ASSISTANTS LEAVE THE PITCH WITH JIM MCINALLY AFTER ABANDONING THE MATCH

Despite the conditions, the decision incensed both sets of players and supporters, many of whom had travelled hundreds of miles to see the game.

In their post match press conferences, managers Jim Chapman and Jim McInally agreed the impact of the decision on the fans should have been taken into account.

McInally said: “It’s a pretty impossible situation and I feel sorry for the referee to a certain extent, but he should have maybe spoken to us and we could have advised him.

“Maybe the haste in which he stopped it was a wee bit disrespectful to the crowd.

SPFL 2'PETERHEAD V ANNAN ATHLETIC'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S DEAN COWIE AND ANNAN'S KIERAN BRANNAN CHALLENGE

SPFL 2'PETERHEAD V ANNAN ATHLETIC'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S DEAN COWIE AND ANNAN'S KIERAN BRANNAN CHALLENGE

“I said after the Albion Rovers game that there comes a point when players are less relevant than the supporters.

“I don’t know how many people were up from Annan, but even if it’s just 10 it’s a hell of a distance to come and watch your team. The supporters should be paramount.”

It was hard for him because he’s a young referee, but he could have stopped it for 10 or 15 minutes and spoken to the referee’s supervisor for advice, or even spoken to us.”

McInally stressed the similarities between the conditions on Saturday and those on the day of the Blue Toon’s 1-1 draw with Albion in December - on that day the game went ahead, despite the weather.

Chapman was also disappointed for the travelling supporters, but left Balmoor the happier of the two managers.

Rearranging the match will mean he has key players back from injury and suspension.

He said: “It got worse, that’s the thing.

“When we first went out we were concerned about the strength of the wind but you looked at the forecast and it was meant to get better.

“It obviously didn’t and it became a farce.

“But the most important people you have to think about are the fans - that’s the key thing, not the players.

“The ref’s got to think about the spectacle, but maybe we should think about the fans before starting the spectacle.”

“As much as we’re disappointed the game was called off, I’ve got to back the ref and say it was the right decision.”

The date of rearranged tie has yet to be set but it is likely to be mid-March.