A FOOTBALL pitch has been left unplayable by council workers who attempted to cut the waterlogged ground.

The public pitch at Polson park in Tranent has been gouged up by the grass-cutting machinery, which the council says was used on the pitch on Monday, after games were cancelled at the weekend because of "standing water".

But while the local authority claimed it hoped the ground would be back in action, Tranent Colts chairman Phil Purves, who is involved in a community bid to manage facilities at the park themselves, said it may not recover at all over the winter months.

Mr Purves said games at the public pitch were cancelled over the weekend including Tranent Amateur Football Club's tie against Hawick Legion on Saturday, and several under-19s and youth games, after the referees saw the state of the pitch.

He described council claims that the damage to the pitch was caused on Monday as workers tried to fix issues as "nonsense".

And he criticised the local authority's approach to the site, which Tranent and District Community Football Club, which includes the Colts, Tranent Juniors and other local groups, are raising funds to imrpove.

The clubs are currently campaigning to raise £150,000 to refurbish the delapidated Polson Park pavilion to allow a vaariety of sports clubs to use it as changing facilities.

Mr Purves said: "We are at present trying to build a new pavilion within the park for all sports clubs and Tranent groups to use, this is at our expense but will always be council property to which we will still have to pay to use.

"We are raising £150,000 and they (East Lothian Council)leave the pitch unplayable. This pitch may now not recover enough to be playable over the winter months. This is why our sports clubs are trying to take over the management of our facilities."

East Lothian Council said it understood games were cancelled at the pitch last weekend because it was waterlogged and groundsmen attended the park on Monday.

It is undertood they attempted to cut the grass but their vehicle sank into the soft ground.

A council spokesperson said they hoped it would dry out in time for any forthcoming games.

They said: "It is extremely unusual for grass pitches to require cutting at this time of year. Normally at the end of October the pitches would be spiked and rolled to help with drainage coming into winter but additional cutting has been required.

"Unfortunately the heavy recent rain has made it difficult for the vehicles to access the pitch without some surface damage."