FA to probe Vase match trouble

The Football Association is launching an inquiry in to the crowd trouble at the FA Vase quarter-final tie between Cray Wanderers and AFC Sudbury on Saturday.

The Football Association is launching an inquiry in to the crowd trouble at the FA Vase quarter-final tie between Cray Wanderers and AFC Sudbury on Saturday.

Sudbury fan Shane Watson was taking to hospital for treatment for a head injury after allegedly being knocked to the ground and kicked during the game.

The match referee stopped the game for 13 minutes in the second half after scuffles behind the goal where Sudbury fans had moved at half-time, ended with Watson on the ground bleeding from a head wound.

He was treated by St John Ambulance and his head bandaged and he, and another visiting fan, were taken to hospital.


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They missed the remainder of the game and Sudbury's two extra time goals which took the Suffolk club into the two legged semi-final next month.

Issues being investigated by the Football Association will include whether security and stewarding was adequate for a game expected to attract around 1,000 fans in the later stages of a national competition and why there was no police presence. The recorded attendance was 771.

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Police responded to emergency calls after the alleged assault and the referee was able to re-start the game when calm had been restored.

Football Association spokesman Alex Watson said they were waiting for the referee's report and would then be asking the clubs to respond to it.

A group of Sudbury fans had congregated behind the goal their team were attacking in the second half with a giant banner.

Banter with home supporters seems to have sparked the violence.

Although one Sudbury fan was told to leave the ground, Kent police said no arrest had been made and they are investigating.

AFC Sudbury will be meeting later this week to discuss arrangements for the home leg of their semi-final on March 13 and the away leg on March 20.

One line being investigated after Saturday's game is whether fans from clubs, teams not taking part, had turned up for the biggest non-league game in the area.

Cray's progress to the Vase quarter-finals this season had been supported by fans from other Kent clubs.

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