Highland Welfare Cup, Second Round
Longside Thistle 3 FC Fochabers 1 (att 25) abandoned after 65 minutes
Not untypically for Scotland in summer, this game kicked off on a hot afternoon under blue skies and bright sunshine, but was abandoned 20 minutes into the second half after the heavens opened and a torrential downpour left the pitch waterlogged.
Despite the conditions the premature end to the game surprised me. The pitch, though saturated, was the same for both sides, I wasn't aware of any complaints from players, even from Fochabers as they trailed, and the rain was easing.
The football we did see was entertaining. FC Fochabers are top of the Moray Welfare League, and might have been expected to triumph against opposition mid table in North East Scotland League's lower division.
But the home side were unstoppable in the first half, scoring three and having a penalty saved. Perhaps Fochabers struggled to get used to the tiny pitch, as Thistle use a very small training pitch inside Longside Juniors' well-appointed Davidson Park home.
The rain, preceded by a clap of thunder and so intense that the word torrential barely does it justice, began during the short half time break. As the pitch became soaked Fochabers did pull a goal back, and threatened to make more of a game of it. Perhaps that was in the ref's mind when he brought the action to an early end.
I assume the game will be replayed, as the visitors certainly weren't out of it. As for my groundhopping, my rule is that if a game gets to at least half time then it counts as a "tick" in my book, albeit a rather unsatisfactory one.