Politics

Mark Roberts blasts ‘shambles’ situation with Glenafton Athletic left in relegation fight limbo


Cumbernauld United 0 Glenafton Athletic 0

Mark Roberts hit out last night at the ‘shambles’ situation which leaves Glenafton Athletic wondering if they have done enough to stay in the West of Scotland League Premier Division.

The New Cumnock men picked up a vital point in a goalless draw with already relegated Cumbernauld United to move up to 14th place in the table.

But they are playing a waiting game with league chiefs set to rule on whether or not last Wednesday evening’s abandoned match at home to Blantyre Victoria should be replayed.

Glens were 2-0 up when time was called on proceedings. Blantyre arrived with just seven players and, when one of their number got injured, the officials had no choice but to curtail the contest.

Assistant manager Roberts is adamant the right and proper decision is to allow the result to stand – or award Glens a 3-0 win – which would secure safety outright, relegate Rutherglen Glencairn and leave Benburb relying on Darvel clinching promotion to the Lowland League to stay up.

Even so, the calamitous end to the campaign has left a sour taste in Roberts’ mouth with the former Kilmarnock and Ayr United ace now looking for leadership and common sense from the top.



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He told Ayrshire Football News: “I know nothing about the situation. It’s a shambles. That they haven’t come out already and told us we have got the three points is baffling for me.

“It was an absolute disgrace last week and Blantyre should be flung in the fire for that. I just think it is wrong in every way.

“I know it is not fair on Rutherglen and Benburb but we turned up – our players wanted to watch the Rangers game as well – but we were professional and they were a joke.

“At the moment, nobody is making any decisions and that’s the frustrating thing because we have a lot of players who are away on holiday now. What happens if we get made to replay the game? What do we do?

“We have players flying away tonight. Our season is finished. It’s up to the league to make a decision. They know our situation and need to show a bit of common sense about it. We’ve done our job.

“Hopefully the league make the right decision and I think everybody knows what the right decision is.”

When asked how it felt lining up against seven players last week, Roberts replied: “It’s embarrassing. It was the lowest point of my career last week.

“I’ve never witnessed anything like that before and never want to witness anything like that again. It was disgusting and I didn’t want to be there. It’s not right to be made to feel like that.”

In an intriguing sub-plot, Glens were thwarted almost single-handedly last night by United’s trialist keeper Scott McLellan – formerly of Rutherglen Glencairn and on the bench for their last league game of the season, a 1-1 draw with Pollok, on Saturday, May 14.

McLellan was outstanding as he denied Jamie McKernon three times and performed heroics to keep out a certain own goal. When Hugh Kerr did find the net for the East Ayrshire side, the linesman’s flag cut short the celebrations.

“It’s so frustrating,” Roberts reflected. “How we have not won that game, I’ll never know.

“Going forward, we need to be more clinical. It was a good performance but there was enough chances to win a couple of games.”

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