Scottish Premiership

Hamilton Academical v Kilmarnock postponed

Hamilton's pitch at the SuperSeal Stadium with a covering of snow
Hamilton called the game off around an hour and 20 minutes before kick-off

Hamilton Academical's Scottish Premiership meeting with Kilmarnock on Wednesday has been postponed.

Accies, who have an artificial pitch at the SuperSeal Stadium, said they "were giving it every chance" after overnight snow and freezing fog.

But referee Barry Cook ruled the pitch unplayable after a 18:15 inspection.

"It's disappointing," Accies boss Martin Canning told BBC Scotland. "Given another half an hour on the pitch, it would have been fine."

Referee Cook revealed he had got a call from Hamilton around 17:00 asking him to come in for an early inspection, which started at 17:30.

But following a second look at the pitch, he took the decision to call the game off around 18:25, with temperatures likely to continue to drop.

"The guys have been working hard on the pitch all day to clear the snow and the groundsman's been salting the pitch as well," Cook told BBC Scotland.

"At this moment in time, there's still snow and ice on the pitch and underneath the surface is hard and slippy for the players.

"Ultimately it's about the players' safety and I had a word with both managers. We've been out on the pitch keeping an eye on it, but conditions haven't improved since we've been here. There was only one decision to make - to postpone the match. The players' safety is the biggest thing for us."

Kilmarnock issued a statement saying they were "naturally disappointed" the game had been called off, but "we fully understand the decision as player safety is paramount".

'It's definitely not an all-weather surface'

Canning, whose side will now travel to Motherwell on Saturday for their final game before the winter break, believes the pitch could have been deemed playable.

"We played on the pitch against Ross County and it was probably slippier than it is, but the referee has got to make a call and in his opinion he thinks it's a little slippy for the players to play on," he added.

"It's his call to make. The temperature is dropping, but there's enough salt on the pitch so I don't think it's going to get any worse. It's going to get netter. A lot of work has gone into it today and it's disappointing that it's not going to make it.

"[The snow] protects the pitch underneath, the groundsman's working hard to get the snow off and in another half an hour it would have been fine. But the referee has made his call."

Cook, meanwhile, believes the concept of an "all-weather pitch" is a misnomer.

"It's definitely not an all-weather surface, it's an artificial surface," he added.

"The conditions have been quite severe, the guys have done their best and I'm thankful for the work they've done. It's always disappointing when you have to put it off, but the players' safety is the biggest thing for us."

Accies released a statement offering their "sincere apologies" to fans over the late postponement.

"We have been ultimately swept away by nature," it concluded. "With the forecast to remain below freezing for the next few hours, it wasn't assisting.

"The club are most disappointed it is off as everyone was positive for the game. A new date will be set by the SPFL in due course. Apologies to all for any inconvenience caused."

Kilmarnock's remaining game before the winter break is a trip to Hibernian on Saturday.

As It Stood

6St Johnstone207582128-726
11Ross County2145122134-1317
12Partick Thistle2145121737-2017
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