KING’S LYNN: Probe into match trouble

An investigation is underway this lunchtime after trouble flared at last night’s Evostik league match between King’s Lynn Town and Coalville Town at the Walks.

The probe follows allegations of vandalism by away fans and racial abuse by home supporters aimed at visiting players.

Police have confirmed that they are investigating an incident in the players’ tunnel after the match, which Lynn won 3-1, and say they are liaising with the club. The matter is also likely to be the subject of a separate FA inquiry.

Before the match kicked off, around 20 visiting supporters were refused entry to the ground and given advice about their behaviour by officers, a police spokesman said. Then, during the first half, a section of fence at the hospital end of the ground was kicked in.

And, following the game, several Coalville players took to the social networking site Twitter to condemn the behaviour of Lynn fans, who they claimed had hurled racial slurs at them during the match.

One of them, Cameron Stuart, claimed that he had been abused, punched and spat at.

Teammate Lee Miveld slammed the Lynn club, saying they should be “ashamed”, while Jerome Murdock – who had earlier been at the centre of a flashpoint when he kicked the ball into the crowd just before half-time – responded to criticism of his conduct by claiming he had also been racially abused.

Another Coalville player, Ryan Robbins, had to be physically restrained by his colleagues to stop him remonstrating with a section of the home crowd before the start of the second half. There was a delay of several minutes while the referee spoke to both managers and ground stewards.

There was also criticism of the police response to the disorder.

But Linnets chairman Buster Chapman praised fans, stewards and police for their handling of the fixture.

In a statement this morning, he said: “We wanted to ensure that supporters would be able to enjoy a trouble free game and therefore decided to stop any potential threats of trouble at the gates.

“While queuing a group of around 20 males who were unknown in the local area, appeared to be highly intoxicated and reacted aggressively when questioned by our stewards. This led to a five minute delay while the turnstile gates were closed and the situation was dealt with by the police.

“I am aware this group may have continued to cause disruption outside the ground but again this was dealt with by the police. I am pleased to say the rest of the night went smoothly.”

A Norfolk Police spokesman added: “Any allegation of racist comments, by fans or players, will be thoroughly looked in to and police will take any positive action if required.”