NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Neots manager ‘horrified’ after player Miles Smith suffers alleged racial abuse during FA Trophy clash
- Credit: Archant
An FA Trophy tie involving St Neots Town yesterday was marred by allegations of racism.
Tom Wood volleyed the Saints’ leveller in the 89th minute as they drew 1-1 at Liverpool side Marine in the second qualifying round showdown to force a Tuesday replay at the Premier Plus Stadium.
But of most concern to manager Andy Davies were claims of racial abuse aimed at his full-back Miles Smith – something the Saints boss insists the club will report to the Football Association.
He told the Hunts Post the comments in question came from a Marine player and a person in their dugout.
Davies said: “I truly believe that racism is a thing of the past which has no place in the modern game or society.
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“I was shocked and horrified to hear one of my players today on the receiving end of racist comments on more than one occasion.
“As a club, we will be putting together a full report of what happened and I hope it will be properly dealt with through official channels.”
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The match also featured three dismissals in stoppage time at the end of the second half following a mass melee involving both sets of players and staff.
Saints striker Sam Mulready saw red following an off-the-ball clash which sparked a brawl.
And, once the dust had settled, French winger Nassim L’Ghoul became the second Saints man to be sent off - for what is understood to have been a spitting offence.
Marine goalscorer Daniel Mitchley, who had put the home side ahead just after the hour, also received his marching orders following the fracas.
Marine were the better side in a blank opening period when only a fine save in a one-on-one situation from Saints goalkeeper Alex Archer (who was named captain with Tom Ward injured and regular stand-in Micky Hyem away) prevented them from hitting the front.
The home side were also on top early in the second period and deserved their breakthrough, but St Neots responded well.
Mulready missed a glorious chance from close range before Wood made no mistake to keep Saints in the competition.
A spokesman for Marine said: “No incident was reported to Marine officials by a St Neots Town representative or the match referee either during or after the game.
“In the event that we receive notification through the proper channels we will of course co-operate fully with any investigation in to the allegations.”