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The Non-League Football Paper

Salisbury and Bideford under FA enquiry after abandonment

Salisbury manager Steve Claridge has confirmed there is an FA enquiry into their abandoned Evo-Stik South West match with Bideford.

Referee Daniel Lamport called an end to the fixture in the 43rd minute after a fracas between the two sides occurred by the tunnel at the Ray Mac.

Salisbury had stormed into a 3-0 lead with just 26 minutes on the clock thanks to goals from debutant striker Owen Howe, Stuart Green and Eddie Perrett.

But Claridge’s side were then reduced to ten men in the 33rd minute when George Colson was dismissed following an altercation with Billy 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.

Speaking of the incident when appearing as a pundit on BBC Radio Five Live, Whites boss Claridge said: “The tipping point was one of their lads following through on one of our lads. He’d caught him twice before. They put their heads together, then he (the Bideford player) fell to the ground. He got one of our lads sent off.

“It’s disappointing. Obviously things happened from our perspective, something happened in the tunnel that wasn’t great. But I was disappointed with the way they (Bideford) came and approached the game and applied themselves.

“That’s all I can say because of an FA enquiry.”

Bideford’s website account of the incident read: “As things became more heated on the field, Tucker was shown a second yellow card and got into an altercation leaving the pitch.

“Chaos then ensued involving multiple players, staff and some supporters leaving the referee feeling he had no choice but to abandon the game.”

Salisbury have confirmed that they will offer free admission to any replayed match if scheduled.

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