Bolton Wanderers' boss has strong words for Morecambe supporters
Bolton Wanderers’ boss Ian Evatt hit out at a section of the Morecambe fanbase following this afternoon’s draw between the two teams.
The match at the Mazuma Stadium ended 1-1 but the final outcome wasn’t the main talking point.
That came deep into the second half when Morecambe were in front thanks to Cole Stockton’s 21st goal of the season.
However, the game took a turn for the fractious, seemingly triggered by Morecambe keeper Adam Smith handing an object allegedly thrown in his direction to referee Ross Joyce.
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That was followed by an exchange of views between the Bolton dugout and a section of the home supporters.
Play began again, only for another incident to see the teams taken off before another restart, in which Bolton equalised and a number of their fans entered the pitch.
Speaking afterwards, the Bolton manager said: “I’m emotional really. From minute one, the barrage of abuse that me and the rest of my staff and players got from directly behind the dugout was astonishing - no protection, encroachment, spitting.
“It took a racist remark for someone to stand up and do something about it. The game sometimes never fails to disappoint you.
“I’m even more astonished that the announcement comes over the tannoy to say both sets of supporters weren’t behaving.
“Our supporters, yes, they encroached the pitch to support our team and I’m not saying that’s right - but our supporters didn’t behave in that way, so I’m really disappointed in that.
“I feel for Stephen (Robinson, Morecambe boss). It’s not in any way, shape or form a mark against him, he was outstanding on the touchline and completely understanding.”
Bolton issued a statement on Saturday evening with club chairman, Sharon Brittan, adding: “I completely stand by the actions of Ian and the rest of the staff, who were subjected to abuse throughout the game.
“However, when that abuse became racist he had no option but to make a stand against these completely unacceptable and disgraceful actions from a minority of the Morecambe supporters.
“I implore Morecambe Football Club to treat this matter very seriously because football needs to play its part in rooting out all forms of hatred and discrimination from society.
“Football is a game for all and what we witnessed today was shocking. We will ensure that our colleagues who were abused receive the care and support they need.”
As for the Morecambe manager, he issued a brief response when asked about what had allegedly taken place.
Robinson said: “There’s lots of accusations going about, the relevant authorities are going to deal with that, but it’s also interrupted the game completely.
“The way we were going, we totally dominated and it’s so disappointing but I’ll let the relevant authorities deal with that and go from there.”
For their part, Morecambe also issued a statement shortly after the final whistle.
That read: “Morecambe Football Club are aware of a series of incidents and allegations that have been made during Saturday’s fixture against Bolton Wanderers in Sky Bet League One.
“The club will work with all relevant authorities to investigate the above.
“Morecambe FC will be making no further comment at this time.”
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