Lesmahagow Juniors postpone game after Craighead Park fire and vandalism

The charred section of Craighead Park pitch targeted by local yobs (Pic courtesy of Lesmahagow Juniors)
The charred section of Craighead Park pitch targeted by local yobs (Pic courtesy of Lesmahagow Juniors)

Fire-raising, tonic wine swigging yobs caused the postponement of Saturday’s Lesmahagow Juniors game at Craighead Park.

Friday night’s shameful behaviour by a group of local youths near the home dugout left a section of the pitch burned out and covered in glass shards, meaning ’Gow’s scheduled home league encounter against Port Glasgow was called off on Saturday morning on health and safety grounds.

“The broken glass on the surface made it unsafe to be played on which is really worrying,” ’Gow manager Robert Irving told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette.

“It’s hard to see glass in the ground because it’s usually from wine bottles which have green glass so it’s hard to pick out.

“We can go down there, pick up some glass and think we’ve got it all.

“Another committee man will come down and pick up another handful of glass he sees, but you’re never sure you’ve got it all.

“These youths vandalise the fencing to get in then use what they vandalise to set on fire on the pitch.

“They have made an absolute mess; it’s a muck hole.

“We had built up a bit of momentum after winning 4-0 at East Kilbride in our last game.

“Now we can’t get playing because of these imbeciles that are damaging the pitch.

“It’s really frustrating.

“This problem has been reported to the police.

“But any time we complain it seems to fall on deaf ears which is concerning.

“I know they’re a bit thin on the ground but we’ve got a problem here and it needs to be rectified.”

Robert said the vandalism problem at Craighead Park had been going on since its old stand was demolished last summer.

Work on a new stand is due to start next month.

He added: “It was disappointing the game was off on Saturday.

“It was really frustrating for the boys.

“The boys will not let themselves get down.

“When you are winning most weeks and training is bubbling, it just keeps rolling on.

“We were on a good run and Port Glasgow were coming up, second against third on the holiday weekend.

“It would have been a good crowd there and we’ve lost that revenue as well.”

Robert said ’Gow would do everything they could to ensure this Saturday’s scheduled home league derby against Carluke Rovers would go ahead.

He added: “The council and other companies have got the pitch in the best condition it’s ever been in.

“We’ll do everything we possibly can to get the game on. But we can’t get a game if these neds turn up again this Friday night.

“If they do the same this Friday as what they did last Friday there will not be a game on, simple as that.

“If it’s not mumps it’s measles that’s happening.”

The Gazette contacted Police Scotland for a statement on the incident, but we had received no response at time of going to press on Tuesday.