Not A Terribly Happy New Year At Nuneaton or Tilbury

It only took two days for a familiar old boil that has never been properly lanced to rear its head in non-league football this year, as crowd trouble marred two non-league matches afternoon. These incidents occurred at Liberty Way, at the Blue Square North match between Nuneaton Town and AFC Telford United, and at the Ryman League match between Tilbury and Grays Athletic. Both matches were local derbies to some extent, so perhaps the question that we ought to be asking is of whether high-tension matches should be played on Bank Holiday weekends. It is a question that has been asked before – there was serious disorder at the end of last year’s Blue Square Premier match between Luton Town and York City, which was played on a Bank Holiday Monday – but perhaps the question has become one of whether they can afford not to. At Nuneaton, the trouble was serious enough to have potential ramifications for the club itself in the form of a fine. Perhaps surprisingly, it seems that there were no police present at the match, only stewards presumably hired by the club itself, and the lion’s share of the trouble came at the end of the match after Telford supporters were held back, allowed to leave and then chased back into the ground by people purporting to be home supporters. A supporters coach was...

Read More