Stone Old Alleynians beaten in key promotion clash, while Atherstone Town launch investigation into racial abuse claim at Stafford Town



STONE Old Alleynians lost 2-1 in their big North West Counties League Division One South promotion clash at Abbey Hey.

Abbey started brightly and Jake Dunford shot wide. The Stone defence was having to work hard and they cleared a shot off the line before Dylan Norris fired over.

The home side took the lead three minutes before the interval.

Daryll Grant crossed to Martin Pilkington and he dinked the ball over Stone keeper Adam Alcock.

Abbey doubled their lead on the hour mark when Dunford played the ball into the danger area and Paul Sunderland hammered it into the net.

Stone pulled a goal back deep into time added on through Jack Tomlinson.

It was his 14th goal of the season and his fifth in the last seven games.

The result leaves Stone in third place, but Abbey Hey have now drawn level with them on the same points.

IN the Midland League, 3G pitches enabled two of our teams to play their fixtures despite the heavy rain from

Storm Dennis.

Second-placed Brocton earned a point from a hard-fought 1-1 draw at fifth-placed Lichfield City. Lichfield went close to opening the scoring early on when Brad Rolston headed over.

Soon after Brocton keeper Henry Smith saved from Nat McKenzie only for Max Black hit the rebound wide.

Kyle Patterson sent a 35-yard shot against the post as Lichfield continued to call the tune, but the first half ended goalless.

The Badgers took the lead two minutes into the second half when Connor Haddaway found the net with a great strike.

BROCTON were then reduced to 10 men when substitute Malaki Norford was shown a straight red card. Lichfield levelled near the end when Jordan Hunt drove home.

STAFFORD TOWN remain rooted to the foot of the table following a 3-0 defeat against promotion chasing Atherstone Town at Evans Park.

Stafford keeper Sam Amedu made a couple of good saves, but the visitors took the lead just before half-time through Perry Cotton.

Amedu made a superb save after the break but Ryan Harkin doubled Atherstone’s lead.

Stafford came close to pulling a goal back when a Harry Bowers free-kick was headed wide by Miles Johnson. Atherstone added a third goal in time added on when Harkin notched his second of the game.

Unfortunately the referee had to stop the game during the second half when Stafford keeper Sam Amedu received racial abuse from some of the Atherstone supporters. He informed both captains and the referee, who asked Atherstone officials to step in.

The referee will be reporting the incident to both the Midland League and the FA.

Atherstone released a statement on the club’s facebook page.

It read: “During today’s game at Stafford Town, racist comments were observed and heard by members of our own team and supporters.

“Following the game the chairman of the club along with the management and secretary undertook an immediate investigation with regard to the contents of that abuse and the persons responsible.

“Atherstone has a zero tolerance policy stance on racism and, as a result of that investigation, we have identified the responsible group of Atherstone fans who will now face lifetime bans as a result.

“Atherstone wishes to publicly apologise to Stafford Town FC, their players, management and supporters for this totally unacceptable behaviour.

“Furthermore we wish to apologise to our own players, management, sponsors and core supporters, and assure everyone this is not what our club represents.

“We will take whatever action is necessary to eradicate this cancer within our club once and for all; we will not allow a few mindless individuals to bring this club down.”

PHIL SHERWIN





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