Wisbech Town fined by FA following incident in January

The Bromsgrove Sporting bench is covered in smoke from a flare. Picture: Ian Carter

The Bromsgrove Sporting bench is covered in smoke from a flare. Picture: Ian Carter - Credit: Archant

Wisbech Town have been fined £500 by the Football Association following incidents during their FA Vase exit in January.

The Fenmen were charged with failing to ensure that players and/or officials and/or spectators conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the stormy fourth-round clash on January 6.

The charge concerns a racial comment made to Sporting goalkeeper Reece Francis by a spectator during the first half of a game the away team won 3-1. Francis was reported to have left the pitch in tears at half-time.

Wisbech chairman Paul Brenchley and three directors attended an FA hearing in Nottingham last Thursday where both clubs were also charged after flares were thrown into the playing area.

Brenchley told the Wisbech Standard that the person responsible for the comment to Francis has been banned from attending Fenmen games. The same applies to the flare-thrower.

He said: “A lot of people on the day told us they didn’t hear anything, but we do think something was said to their goalkeeper.

“I know who the individual concerned is. I’m not going to call him a supporter because I’d never seen him at a Wisbech Town game before and we certainly won’t be seeing him again.

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“I’ll be making contact to the Bromsgrove chairman to apologise on behalf of Wisbech Town to their goalkeeper, but I’ll also be making clear that some of his actions – the way he celebrated their goals – later in the game weren’t appreciated.

“I ejected the Wisbech fan who threw the flare on the day and he has also been told not to bother coming back.

“We had 10 stewards on the day, and looking at it now we probably should have had more but I can’t help feeling the FA have let us down.

“There should been some sort of intelligence coming down regarding teams with supporters who have a history of letting off flares.”

At the time of the incident, one Wisbech fan posted that goal keeper Francis was “out of order.”