Camelon v Brora Rangers: Repeated cup postponements but still nothing compared to Airdrie v Stranraer marathon

It is difficult not to feel sorry for Camelon and Brora Rangers, who are still attempting to play their Scottish Cup first-round tie while a number of fixtures in the second round of the competition are taking place this weekend.

Adverse weather has repeatedly postponed Camelon v Brora Rangers but it has a long way to go to equal the record for call-offs
Adverse weather has repeatedly postponed Camelon v Brora Rangers but it has a long way to go to equal the record for call-offs

The East of Scotland side’s clash with Highland League opponents Brora actually kicked off on December 26 at Camelon's Carmuirs Park but match referee George Calder abandoned the game at half-time due to a waterlogged pitch.

Since then repeated attempts have been made to play the match but even shifting the encounter to the artificial surface at Denny's Westfield Park has proved fruitless.

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Camelon and Brora will attempt to get the fixture played on Monday night, with the winners setting up a tie against Hearts at Tynecastle but even before the first-round clash is played, the draw for the third round will have taken place on Sunday morning.

1963: 'The Big Freeze’

Despite the string of postponements the match has some way to go to challenge Airdrieonians' tie against Stranraer in 1963. Foul weather throughout the British Isles wreaked havoc on the football season as the UK experienced one of the coldest winters on record with more than 400 league and cup games in England postponed.

The domestic season on both sides of the Border was extended by a month with the final English league matches taking place just 24 hours before the rearranged FA Cup final. Some lower-league competitions were abandoned completely and Bolton Wanderers didn't kick a competitive ball between December 8 and February 16.

As with Camelon and Brora, the Diamonds and the Blues were drawn together in the first round but the elements repeatedly prevented the tie from being staged.

The other stumbling block was that replays were in use, unlike this season’s Scottish Cup, with fixtures played to a finish in one go.

Incredibly, the Airdrie-Stranraer match was postponed 33 times – still a British record – before the hosts finally ran out 3-0 winners, two months after the original date. The Diamonds’ reward for beating Stranraer on Monday March 11 1963 was a home clash with Rangers on Wednesday March 13. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rangers ran out 6-0 winners en route to winning the cup via replay.

1979: Inverness Thistle and Falkirk nearly steal the crown

Just 16 years later another Scottish Cup tie threatened to end Airdrie and Stranraer's record. Inverness Thistle were drawn at home to Falkirk in the second round but again, harsh winter conditions prevented the meeting from taking place on its original date of January 6 1979.

The fixture was postponed a further 28 times, eventually taking place at Thistle's Kings Mills ground on February 22, a full 47 days after the original date and 71 days since the draw for the second round had taken place.

The length of time it had taken to complete the fixture led to Bairns boss Billy Little having to take his side to Dundee just three days after their 4-0 win in the Highlands.

Although Falkirk had their chances at Dens Park, a Billy Pirie penalty 20 minutes from time took Dundee into the fourth round.

Like Airdrie, Dundee’s cup run was eventually brought to an end by Rangers, who went on to win the trophy after two replays against Hibs.

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