Football Association to investigate tunnel bust-up after King’s Lynn Town game against Coalville Town

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 October 2012

King's Lynn Town fans celebrate after Stephen Spriggs scored Lynn's third goal on Tuesday night. Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Town fans celebrate after Stephen Spriggs scored Lynn's third goal on Tuesday night. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

The Football Association last night launched an investigation after the ugly scenes at the end of Tuesday night’s clash between King’s Lynn Town and Coalville.

FA officials will contact both clubs and the Norfolk FA following the incident which happened at the players’ tunnel following the Evo-Stik Division One South clash which the Linnets won 3-1.

The FA will also contact Norfolk Police, which is also investigating the latest disorder at The Walks.

It comes just 18 months after police separated King’s Lynn Town and Coalville fans the last time the sides met, which resulted in the Lynn club being hit with a £150 fine for crowd disorder by the FA.

A spokesman for the FA last night said: “We are investigating this incident and will work with both clubs and relevant authorities to establish what happened.”

King’s Lynn Town captain Richard Bunting said the tunnel bust-up involved Coalville Town players and a group of Lynn fans.

“I didn’t see it all but it looked like [Coalville] players were trying to go back out of the tunnel and the stewards were holding them back,” he said.

King’s Lynn Town manager Gary Setchell added: “We were in the middle of the pitch clapping our fans after a great match so I didn’t see everything.

“All I know is something happened as the Coalville players went up the tunnel and the police got involved and took them to their dressing room.”

After the game, several Coalville town players posted messages on social network website Twitter condemning the behaviour of King’s Lynn Town fans.

Left back Cameron Stuart claimed Coalville players were verbally abused, punched and spat at.

He also called for the next meeting between the sides in January to be played behind closed doors so they “can just get on with playing football”.

Mr Stuart later tweeted: “No problems with result or [Lynn} players who are good lads, but we shouldn’t have to put up with what happened after the game.”

Striker Jerome Murdock also claimed he was racially abused during the game but no official complaint has been made to Norfolk Police.

However, a spokesman for the force said: “Any allegation of racist comments, by fans or players, will be thoroughly looked in to and police will take any positive action if required.”

Officers were first sent to The Walks before the start of the game after 20 Coalville fans were refused entry.

They remained in the area until after the match when an “incident of disorder” was reported in the players’ tunnel.

Parts of the fence behind Lynn’s ‘Hospital End’ goal were also kicked in during the game but no complaint of damage has been made to police.

Last night’s announcement by the FA came after Keith ‘Buster’ Chapman, King’s Lynn Town chairman, thanked supporters, stewards and police for “ensuring that a successful trouble-free night was had inside stadium”.

These incidents came after two men were arrested after missiles were thrown and the pitch was invaded the last time Coalville played the Linnets which was in a FA Vase last April.

Both the Norfolk FA and Leicestershire and Rutland FA, which Coalville Town is affiliated with, would not comment on Tuesday night’s incidents because it falls under the jurisdiction of the FA.

Glyn Rennocks, Coalville Town chairman, also did not wish to comment on the incidents or investigations.

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