Football match abandoned between Ransomes and Benhall clubs after brawl involving players and spectators


Officials at Suffolk’s Football Association say they will take action if necessary after an alleged brawl involving players and fans during a top of the table clash in a Saturday league match.

The incident – which reportedly involved around 20 people – apparently broke out after a player from Ipswich-based team Ransomes Sports received a red card in the 88th minute of the match at Benhall St Mary.

The referee abandoned the match, which was level at 1-1.

It is up to the referee whether he refers the matter to the Suffolk FA.

Carl Wilkins, assistant manager at Benhall St Mary, said he would not discuss details of the incident ahead of any hearing.

He added: “It was a fantastic game until the 88th minute, fast-flowing and intense – but you expect that from the top teams. Adrenaline was high, everyone wanted to win the game, and a 1-1 draw would have been a fair result.

“The incident at the end marred it, which was a total shame.

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“It is in the hands of the FA now but I don’t think either party was to blame fully, it was six of one and half a dozen of the other, and I think both sides would say the same thing.

“These silly things happen sometimes with football which is unfortunate.

“No-one was seriously hurt, it was just handbags, a lot of pushing and shoving. With around 20 people on the pitch it always looks worse than it is.

“We are an up-and-coming club, a family-oriented club with youth teams, and the club is going forward. We don’t want this sort of thing.

“We will take the FA ruling on the chin and put the matter to bed.”

Glenn Newman, manager of the Ransomes first team, said he would not comment on the incident ahead of a club committee meeting due to take place this week.

The two teams topped Suffolk and Ipswich League Division One going into the fixture, with Ransomes ahead on goal difference and both sides undefeated.

It is understood that police were not called to the incident.

A Suffolk FA spokesman said: “We will wait to see if we received a report from the referee and then we will investigate that and take whatever action is necessary thereafter.”