EJECTED FANS WERE NOT MANSFIELD FANS -SUSSEX ARGUS
Borough won't segregate fans despite trouble
Monday 2nd February 2009
Report from The Argus (Sussex).
By Steve Hollis »
Eastbourne Borough will stick with their policy of letting home and away fans mingle after crowd trouble marred their 2-1 defeat by Mansfield on Saturday.
Extra police had to be called and a police helicopter flew over Priory Lane as a small group of away supporters clashed with stewards.
One Mansfield supporter was ejected from the ground while several others were cautioned by the police during a tense afternoon.
Borough are one of the only clubs in Blue Square premier who do not segregate opposing supporters and this was the first time they had experienced any trouble.
Chairman Len Smith said: “They were not actually Mansfield fans but a group who are well known trouble-makers and are banned from grounds in the Nottingham area.
“They came down the night before the game and had caused some trouble in the town so I think that was why the police arrived so quickly and in their numbers.
“It looked a lot worse than it was but it is a shame because we have never really had any problems before. We like to let the fans mingle and have had lots of praise from away supporters for being so welcoming.
“We won't change our policy because they were fighting among themselves more than anything else so it wouldn't have made any difference.”
The trouble started when Mansfield skipper Jonathan D'Laryea grabbed an equaliser against the run of play in first-half injury time. One fan ran on to the pitch to celebrate after D'Laryea headed home from Matt Somner's teasing cross which sparked confrontations with the stewards.
As police moved in to calm the situation down during the interval Borough boss Garry Wilson was reading his own riot act in the changing rooms.
Borough chose to play with a strong wind at their backs in the first half and should have gone in at least one goal to the good after Andy Atkin had given them the lead in the seventh minute.
The striker, who passed a fitness test on the morning of the game, grabbed his fourth goal in two matches as he headed home from Dan Smith's chip after the Plymouth striker had seen his initial shot saved by Alan Marriott.
That should have given them the platform to go on and seal a fifth consecutive win but despite dominating the first half the closest they came to doubling their lead was when Smith shot straight at Marriott from close range.
Stags boss David Holdsworth was forced to make a tactical substitution after just 32 minutes with the visitors unable to get out of their own half and it did the trick as they finally got a foothold in the game. It was still a surprise, though, when D'Laryea equalised with their only effort of the first half and it left Borough facing a tough battle against the wind after the interval.
Now Borough were the ones having to defend for large periods and Robert Duffy had seen one header go narrowly over and a deflected shot well saved by Lee Hook when the winner finally arrived with 12 minutes to go.
Marc Pullan gave away a free kick in a dangerous position and Michael Blackwood swung over an inviting cross for Scott Garner to power home a header.
It looked like game over at that point but Borough came back strongly and had three glorious chances to grab a point in the dying minutes.
A Simon Wormull free kick deflected against a post and Nathan Crabb shot wastefully wide while Ben Austin somehow headed over from close range from another Wormull delivery. It was Borough's first home defeat since October and also brought to an end their impressive run of four consecutive league wins.
Wilson said: “The run had to come to an end some time but we are disappointed with the way it came to an end. We should have got a second goal in the first half and to concede just before the break and come in level was a real blow.
“We needed to come in leading because we knew it would be a real struggle against the wind in the second half but we didn't seize our opportunities when they came. Having said that I still think we deserved at least a point.”
Eastbourne: Hook, Austin, Baker, Pullan, Lovett, Harding (Wormull, 67), Brown, Smart, M Crabb, Smith (N Crabb, 81), Atkin (Gargan, 81). Subs not used: Jordan, Xano.
Mansfield: Marriott, Silk, Kay (O'Connor, 32), D'Laryea, Moses, Somner, Blackwood, Woodhouse, Garner, Ameobi (Briscoe, 73), Duffy (Howell, 90). Subs not used: Whatsize, MacKenzie.
Police at Priory Lane as Borough's winning run comes to an end
Report from eastbourneherald.co.uk.
Eastbourne Borough's run of four successive Blue Square Premier victories ended with a 2-1 home defeat against Mansfield Town this afternoon.
There was a substantial police presence in the ground late in the first half when several Mansfield supporters clashed with Borough stewards. A police helicopter hovered overhead.
One fan attempted to get onto the pitch and was evicted, but there was no interruption to the game.
On the field, it was a frustrating 90 minutes for Borough who failed to make full use of the fierce wind at their backs in the first half.
And even when they were trailing late in the game, three chances went begging in the final, frantic 10 minutes.
It was all Borough at the start and they took the lead after eight minutes with Andy Atkin heading his fourth goal in two games from a right wing cross by Dan Smith.
Borough pressed for more but without success. They forced three successive corners with Smith shooting straight at the keeper from 12 yards.
Harding's shot from inside the area was blocked by a defender and Matt Crabb blazed wide as Mansfield remained very much on the back foot.
The visitors had barely managed a worthwhile attack when they equalised on the stroke of half-time, Matt Somner's low cross from the right being turned in from six yards by Jonathan D'Laryea.
It was a goal that lifted the Stags and with the wind behind them in the second half they came out with all guns blazing.
Lee Hook made a superb diving save to keep out a low Robert Duffey drive which had taken a deflection.
In the 78th minute the visitors grabbed the winner. Marc Pullan conceded a free-kick to the left of the area and Scott Garner firmly headed home Michael Blackwood's cross.
With Simon Wormull, who had replaced Harding, beginning to make his presence felt, Borough were at last more dominant in midfield.
And when Wormull was joined by Brighton loanee Sam Gargan and Nathan Crabb, chances for an equaliser started to emerge.
Two Wormull free-kicks caused havoc in the Mansfield area. First Ben Austin headed over from six yards with the second free-kick being deflected against the post by a defender.
With the referee looking at his watch, Nathan Crabb found himself with space in the area, but with the whole of the goal to aim at, he dragged his shot wide of the post.
It was a disappointing day for Borough who failed to reach the standard of recent games but should still have emerged with at least a point.
Borough: Hook, Baker, Smart, Austin, Pullan, Harding (Wormull 67), Atkin (Gargan 81), Matt Crabb, Lovett, Brown, Smith (Nathan Crabb 81).
Mansfield: Marriott, Silk, Kay (O'Connor 32), D'Laryea, Moses, Somner, Blackwood, Woodhouse, Garner, Ameobi (Briscoe 73), Duffy (Howell 90).
Referee: Mr J. Farries.
Booked: Silk. Attendance, 1,420
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