LEAGUE officials are awaiting reports after a touchline fracas forced a Flintshire football match to be abandoned shortly before the final whistle.
Shotton Steel reserves faced Llandyrnog United reserves at the Clwyd League President’s Cup tie on Saturday when fighting between players and spectators caused referee Mike Hughes to halt the match in the 80th minute.
Clwyd Division Two side Shotton were 2-0 up against Llandyrnog at the Reserve Premier League outfit’s home ground.
Shotton reserves manager Craig Sawyer said a Shotton player was sent off in the first half for bad language but a heavy challenge between players was where the trouble began.
“Basically we were 10 minutes from the end of the game and we were 2-0 up,” Craig told the Leader.
“One of my lads went in for a challenge and took the ball and the Llandyrnog player, but the player started swinging and fighting with my lad.
“The referee called a halt to the game and sent the Llandyrnog player off. As the player got towards the changing rooms a bunch of supporters kicked off there. It was five or six home supporters and the Llandyrnog player so maybe they had a problem with their own player.
“For the players’ safety the game was abandoned and the referee will say in his report that it was because of crowd trouble.
“From where I was sat I really couldn’t see who was involved.”
He added: “We’re not sure what is going to happen now, whether the game will count or not. The league will make a decision based on the referee’s report.”
The clubs now face a full FA of Wales investigation into the incident, where a fine or ejection from the cup could be on the cards if either club is found responsible for the violence.
Bryan Roberts, general secretary of the Clwyd League said: “The league will not deal with this initially.
“A match report by the referee will be assessed by the disciplinary board at North Wales Coast Football Association.
“The teams could possibly end up with a fine, if proven, which could range from £50-£200, or they could end up with a severe reprimand which is basically a warning letter.”
He added: “We certainly won’t allow any instance of violence in our league.”
A match report on the Clwyd Football League’s website said: “Llandyrnog’s President’s Cup tie with Shotton Steel was abandoned after 80 minutes with Shotton leading 2-0.
“Full details are not yet available, but it is believed that referee Mike Hughes called at halt to the game for safety reasons after spectators got involved with some of the players.”
Peter Wilson, vice-president of Llandyrnog United, said: “The club will be having a meeting later on in the week to discuss what happened.”
Gary Lewis, Llandyrnog chairman, said: “There was probably about five or six people in the crowd that day, including two of the kitchen staff.
“From what I can gather the Shotton player that was sent off in the first half kicked off with our player who was sent off in the second half.
“There were no punches thrown just a scuffle. I think our player’s sister was in the crowd and tried to break it up.
“We’re waiting for a report from the manager and the referee before we determine what happens to our players.
“There was no animosity after the game. We all went back to the pub and had a few drinks.”
See full story in the Leader