NCEL: Knaresborough Town game abandoned following mass brawl

Knaresborough Town
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Knaresborough Town’s Division One clash against Winterton Rangers last night was abandoned two minutes into injury time following a 22-man brawl.

With Brian Davey’s men trailing 2-1 heading into the final minute of injury time, Knaresborough Town’s goalkeeper was elbowed to the floor as he made his way up for a corner.

The incident led to players from both sides squaring up to each other and, despite the final whistle being imminent, the referee decided to blow his whistle and abandon the game.

Davey said he believes that the game will now have to be replayed in its entirity but criticised the referee’s decision to abandon the game considering the timing of the incident.

He said: “Two minutes into injury time, our goalkeeper was going up for a corner and their centre forward has elbowed him and thrown him to the ground. There was a big fracas and then all of a sudden then ref blew and abandoned the game.

“Most referees would have just blown the whistle to end the game, when I say it was a mass brawl it was just handbags. It only lasted about 10 seconds so I think the referee just panicked.

“We don’t really want another game because we will be running out of dates but there’s nothing we can do until we hear the report.

“I can see it being replayed but I don’t think it’s a game anyone wants. To stop the game two minutes into injury time is absolutely ridiculous.”

Winterton took the lead against Dave’s side before Graham Whitehead pulled Knaresborough back into the match but the visitors regained the lead after Davey complained his side were denied a ‘blatant penalty’.

While Davey argued that Winterton’s forward should have been sent off for his part in the incident, he said he would be ‘disappointed’ if his players were penalised.

He said: “I will be very disappointed if we get in trouble for it. If another team attacks a player then your players are always going to defend him but it quitened down very quickly and that was it and everyone shook hands.”