DAY: MY DISGUST AT SPITTING INCIDENT
DAY: MY DISGUST AT SPITTING INCIDENT
BY IAN WILKERSON, Evening Post, 21 January 2003
This is Shayne Bradley's moment of madness when he spat in Rhys Day's face.
The former Stags striker was sent off just three minutes after coming on as a substitute for Chesterfield at Saltergate on Saturday and had not even touched the ball before losing his head.
Day, who signed an 18-month contract at Field Mill last week and had not been at the club when Bradley was released in October, said he was disgusted by what happened.
Bradley is now facing a three-match ban and could be charged by the FA for bringing the game into disrepute.
Day said he was so amazed by what happened that he didn't even retaliate.
The fracas was sparked by remarks Bradley made in the run-up to the game about how he hoped to score the goal that sent his old team-mates down to Division Three.
Day said: "He came on and I knew there was a bit of history there because of what he had said in the papers.
"I said something to him about it, which was a bit of banter and the next thing I knew he turned round and spat in my face.
"I really didn't know what to do so I just wiped my face but the linesman saw what happened and he was sent off.
"I think he was trying to wind me up and it was lucky that I didn't react and just kept my head.
"It has never happened to me before whether I've been on a football pitch, a night out or anything.
"I just think it is disgusting.
"It's something that I would never do and I wouldn't expect anyone to do it to me."
Bradley is understood to have apologised to the players and staff at Saltergate and is also believed to have sent a written apology to Day following the unsavoury incident.
In a club statement, Spireites assistant manager Lee Richardson said: "He was provoked to the extreme but Shayne reacted in the worst possible way and he has now apologised to all concerned.
"Disciplinary action will be taken internally by the club.
"We have no regrets in putting Shayne on the pitch but we do regret what then happened.
"The best way to react to provocation is to put the ball in the back of the net and he needs to learn from this incident."
The FA will decide on what action to take when they receive the report from referee Paul Robinson, which should be processed in the next few days.
However, they did say they had the power to charge Bradley and could use video evidence in any proceedings.
An FA spokesman said: "If a player is sent off for spitting, they will receive a three-match ban, which is the same as violent conduct or serious foul play.
"There could be a charge against the player as well but we will have to wait and see when we get a copy of the referee's report.
"If the charges were brought, we would be looking to use all the evidence at our disposal, including television images."
Keith Curle was disappointed that the incident took the gloss off what he described as a passionate local derby.
The Stags were able to climb to 18th position in the table, the highest placing they have managed since the end of August after Liam Lawrence's injury-time winner.
Curle said: "I think it is a shame that the controversy of the sending off marred what was a good derby game.
"There was plenty of commitment and desire, although it wasn't as frantic as some derby games I have played in.
"It would be easy to say that it is only three points but I know how much this game means to our supporters and the fans know it is the same in the changing room.
"You sometimes see fans saying that because players don't come from a particular area that they don't care.
"Well no-one can say that about this team and the people are responding."