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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Touchline battle overshadows Workington Reds game

Workington Reds 1 Bishop's Stortford 1: A 40-man bust-up which saw Bishop’s Stortford manager Rod Stringer sent off overshadowed Workington Reds’ 1-1 draw.

Stefan Scott photo
Stefan Scott

Stringer’s ugly confrontation with fullback Lee Andrews saw all 22 players, plus both benches and members of the 377-strong crowd get involved in the melee just after the hour-mark.

The incident happened as Andrews attempted to take a throw in, in front of the visitors’ dugout.

Stortford’s assistant Colin Reid claimed the ex-Carlisle United defender hit Stringer in the face, kick-starting the chaos.

Workington manager Darren Edmondson refuted the claims, saying Andrews, who was cautioned, acted in self defence.

He added: “Lee did nothing wrong; he was protecting himself.

“Lee just wanted to take a throw in, but Rod squared up to him.

“It was a nothing incident that was instigated by their manager. He was getting more tense as the game went on.”

Referee Peter Wright struggled to restore order, as play stopped for three minutes.

It came as novice striker Stefan Scott scored his maiden goal in the semi-professional game.

Scott levelled the scoring for Workington, who are now just two points above the relegation zone.

The youngster starred alongside Gareth Arnison with fellow strikers Jonny Wright, Matthew Berkeley and Ryan Hall all injured.

Edmondson’s depleted troops battled hard to secure the point after falling behind early on.

Hefty hitman Ricky Sappleton gifted Bishop’s the lead on four minutes when he latched on to Reece Prestedge’s clever pass to lash past Aaran Taylor.

Stortford’s Phil Anderson then almost netted a stunning strike, firing from the half-way line, which Taylor only just managed to tip onto the post.

From then on it was one-way traffic, with Workington producing much of the better play.

And they replied on 18 minutes through some horrendous defending by Seb Dunbar and Alli Abdullahi, who struggled all game.

Both players failed to cope with pressure from Arnison and Scott, who eventually controlled a poor clearance, and rolled the ball past Tottenham’s Scotland U21 goalkeeper Jordan Archer.

Scott came close to flipping the game 180 degrees, but couldn’t collect Gari Rowntree’s perfect cross.

Winger Anthony Wright was superb in his natural role on the left flank, and brought a smart save from Archer midway through the half, which was tipped for a corner.

Mark Boyd took the dead-ball, which Wright volleyed into the chest of Abdullahi.

Stortford failed to clear their lines, and Scott’s header was again saved by Archer.

Workington continued to pile on the pressure, and Phil McLuckie and Andrews came close to scoring from Arnison’s left-wing centre.

McLuckie failed to connect, and Andrews, at the back post, blazed over.

Stortford’s classy midfielder Matt Johnson started the second period with a determined drive through the heart of Workington’s midfield.

But his effort from the edge of the box was tame and Taylor deflected it past the post for a corner, which Rowntree headed off the line.

The game then threatened to boil over with Andrews clashing with Prestedge, who committed countless fouls, and Dwight Gayle. While McLuckie and Abdullahi also came face-to-face.

Substitute Jordan Pavett flashed a header wide on 57 minutes, before the real flashpoint of the game.

Andrews ran towards the Bishop’s bench to pick up the ball, before Stringer started shouting in the defender’s face.

Both teams ran over to the epicentre with a lot of pushing, shoving and harsh words being exchanges.

Stringer was sent to the stands for his part, and left watched the remaining 27 minutes from the directors’ box.

From then on, neither side created many chances, and the game fizzled out without further incident.

Star man: Stefan Scott’s first league goal and all-round play was impressive, but Anthony Wright shone brightest.

Workington Reds: Taylor, Andrews, Rowntree, May, Wordsworth, Boyd (Green 80), McLuckie, Hewson (Main 87), Scott, Arnison, Wright (McNiven 80). Subs (not used): Sloan, Simpson.

Attendance: 377

Referee: Peter Wright (Southport)

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