By Jon Couch
Salisbury and Bideford AFC may face sanctions from the Southern League after their Evo-Stik South West clash had to be abandoned on 43 minutes following an ugly clash with both sides down to 10 men.
Referee Daniel Lamport decided to call a halt to proceedings after the sending off of Bideford’s Billy Tucker resulted in a fracas just outside the players’ tunnel of the Ray Mac.
Salisbury were 3-0 up at the time thanks to goals from debutant striker Owen Howe, Stuart Green and Eddie Perrett – all inside the opening 26 minutes.
Steve Claridge’s side were then reduced to ten men, however, when George Colson was dismissed following an altercation with Tucker.
Six minutes later, Tucker was also given his marching orders for a second bookable offence and had to be led towards the tunnel by two team-mates amid a verbal altercation with Salisbury players.
But the players only made it as far as the steps to the tunnel before the row escalated, eventually prompting Mr Lamport to call a halt to proceedings following consultation with his assistants.
Southern League chiefs are expected to open an investigation into the incident this week with both clubs in the firing line.
A report on Salisbury FC’s website read: “The dismissal of George Colson five minutes later further soured what was a tense confrontation between the two sides and it deteriorated to the point where Mr Lamport dismissed Bideford’s Billy Tucker after 37 minutes for a second yellow card.
“The disturbance ensued as Tucker left the field and after a stoppage of six minutes and after consulting with his assistants, Mr Lamport decided to abandon the match.”