Po­lice are called in fol­low­ing bite claim

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Blair Fer­gu­son

PO­LICE were called to the Lamex Sta­dium last night af­ter Steve­nage de­fender Ron­nie Henry ac­cused Joss Labadie of bit­ing his fin­ger, manager Gra­ham West­ley re­vealed.

A con­tro­ver­sial sec­ond-half goal from Luke How­ell earned Dag­gers their sec­ond win of the week, while Steve­nage’s un­timely stum­ble saw them lose ground in the race for the play-offs.

Yet rather than be stunned by a ques­tion­able goal, or his own side’s profli­gacy, West­ley was left be­mused by the al­leged clash be­tween Henry and Labadie.

“He’s not in a good sit­u­a­tion, he’s in the treat­ment room and he’s suf­fered quite a nasty in­jury,” said West­ley.

“Ron­nie was in a state of shock.You don’t go on a foot­ball pitch ex­pect­ing to lose your fin­ger, and Ron­nie was hor­ri­fied by what has gone on be­cause it’s a foot­ball match and he’s nearly lost his fin­ger.

“It has be­come a po­lice mat­ter and when it be­comes a po­lice mat­ter any­body in a re­spon­si­ble po­si­tion should let it be dealt with by the au­thor­i­ties.

“So in pass­ing com­ment, word is around the place, that there’s been an in­ci­dent and the po­lice are in­volved.”

Steve­nage’s patchy pitch made it dif­fi­cult for both sides to play pass­ing foot­ball, but West­ley’s out­fit started brightly and con­trolled most of the first half. The Dag­gers went ahead nine min­utes into the sec­ond half with a con­tro­ver­sial goal that took a long pe­riod of de­lib­er­a­tion be­tween the of­fi­cials be­fore it was al­lowed.

Labadie, seem­ingly the cen­tral fig­ure at the Lamex, was clearly off­side when a ball was hit for­wards and the lines­man raised his flag.

But be­cause he did not touch the ball play con­tin­ued and How­ell stroked Chris­tian Doidge’s cross into the goal.

Steve­nage were stunned, but went close to a lev­eller late on, only for vis­it­ing ‘keeper Mark Cousins to thwart Bruno An­drade.

“It’s a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion,” Da­gen­ham boss Wayne Bur­nett said of the goal.

“But he’s given it and that’s the rules, are you in­ter­fer­ing with play, or are you not in­ter­fer­ing with play.

“I didn’t re­ally see it and I don’t want to com­ment on it be­cause it would be un­fair at this present time.

“It was a very good per­for­mance.We changed the team be­cause it wasn’t con­ducive to how we wanted to try and play and I left our top goalscorer out.

“We had the wind against us and the play­ers said at half-time that the wind was a bit of a fac­tor and we can’t play on this pitch.We played some okay foot­ball at times but we know we can do bet­ter, we played the con­di­tions.”

STAR MAN MARK COUSIN

S Dag&

Red

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