Saturday, September 14, 2013
HUNTINGDON Town manager Ricky Marheineke has suggested both his club and Sleaford Town could be thrown out of the FA Cup after a mass brawl at the end of their first round qualifying tie in Lincolnshire this afternoon.
The game was abandoned after the 87th minute when trouble began as Huntingdon defender Ollie Medwynter was said to have been impeded on several occasions as he tried to take one of his ‘Rory Delap’-style throws into the box. He was trying to take that throw from the Sleaford Town technical area where it had been awarded with Huntingdon 2-1 down.
Huntingdon officials - including the chairman Paul Hunt - have told The Hunts Post that he was stopped three times from taking the throw in.
“I hope they [the FA] play a replay but if you want my honest opinion they will chuck us both out,” said Marheineke, who has been the manager of the club for two and a bit seasons and guided them from mid-table in Division One of the United Counties League to the top of the Premier Division after last week’s defeat of Wisbech.
This week Huntingdon were the team that the Radio 5 Live show 606 were following on their ‘Road to Wembley’ feature and Huntingdon’s assistant manager Seb Hayes spoke to presenters Darren Fletcher and Robbie Savage live on air and said: “Obviously we were trying to stay in the FA Cup and were looking to take a long throw into the box and on the occasions Ollie tried to take it someone from the Sleaford dugout stepped across him to try and halt his run.
“Ollie took exception to that and pushed one of the Sleaford officials over, which is wrong. From there onwards chaos ensued and most of the people involved in it were trying to stop it.
“But when you have got players and officials involved, it seems worse than what it is. There were some bad things going on which you can’t condone.
“From my point of view, as Huntingdon Town’s assistant manager, all I tried to do was get my players – along with our manager Ricky Marheineke – back to our dugout, to try and let the referee deal with it; as were certain Sleaford officials as well – I’m not here to have a go at them – and then try and calm down the situation.
“What we thought would then happen was we would play out the remaining time and see what happened with the result deal with it from there.
“It depends how the FA wants to deal with it. Do they want to have a replay? Do they want to kick both teams out for their behaviour? It’s really down to the FA.
“I’m not condoning anything Huntingdon Town have done and I am not saying we are not the only guilty party. There are two teams here; there are two sets of officials – and we made sure that once … once we knew [the game was] abandoned we got our players straight into the dressing room.
“Ricky was doing exactly what I was doing and trying to calm the situation down – yeah it was heated and things were said and things were said by both managers.”
Marheineke said: “It wasn’t a violent situation [immediately]. It was a handbags situation that turned into a fight.”
The draw for the second qualifying round of the FA Cup is on Monday morning. As things stand, both Sleaford Town and Huntingdon Town remain in the competition.