The Football Association will be launching an investigation into the crowd trouble that marred Coalville Town’s FA Vase semi-final, second-leg victory at King’s Lynn on Saturday.
Coalville’s 3-2 victory earned them a place in the Wembley final against holders Whitley Bay on 8th May, but the historic game will be remembered for scenes of crowd trouble.
Some supporters were seen throwing bananas on to the pitch and spitting. The plastic roof of Coalville’s dug-out was smashed and it is reported that more than 30 police were needed to separate rival fans, with two men, one from each set of supporters arrested.
Coalville manager Adam Stevens, who was said to have passed on a banana to the fourth official as evidence, also heard fans making monkey noises.
He took the decision to take off some of his black players towards the end because of the trouble.
“I did not think stuff like that still went on,” said Stevens. “There was plenty of racial abuse throughout the game. It’s a shame because we have had two cracking matches and now have a Wembley final to look forward to.”
Coalville chairman Glyn Rennocks blamed a lack of stewards for the scenes.
“I have spoken to a couple of our older supporters who finished up in the middle of the King’s Lynn fans. They said some fathers were telling their kids to shout abuse at our black players. It should have been so easy to organise and steward, but they didn’t have enough stewards.”
Speaking on website thisisleicestershire.co.uk, County FA chief executive Laurence Jones, who was at the match, said: “I was disappointed at the lack of stewards. There is no place in football for what I witnessed. I am disappointed that such a prestigious match is being remembered for all the wrong reasons.”