The Non-League Football Paper
Rivals condemn destruction derby
PLAYERS from both Tamworth and Nuneaton Borough have spoken out against the violence which led to the abandonment of their highly-charged derby on Tuesday night.
Boro owner and manager Jimmy Ginnelly alleged in a BBC interview “bricks, bottles and even batteries” had been thrown between segregated areas housing rival fans.
Footage has also been shared on Twitter of one fan kicking someone who was face down and motionless inside the ground, seemingly someone from the same section of the segregated crowd.
The showdown at The Lamb attracted more than 2,000 fans but was abandoned six minutes into the second half. Ginnelly’s interview preceded either club statements, saying the hosts had declined the offer of Nuneaton stewards prior to the match and that security had been inadequate.
“It turned into chaos,” he said. “As you can imagine, Tamworth winning 2-0, they wanted to carry on but I had people saying ‘I am not going back out there, my mum has been hit in the face with a battery’.”
He added: “I am not saying Nuneaton fans are blameless, it looks like two groups of lads got together.”
Tamworth’s statement then accused “a very small minority of Nuneaton supporters” of instigating “ugly scenes by throwing flares and other objects”. It thanked home fans for moving away in an “orderly manner”, comments that were disputed by many on social media.
In a statement, Nuneaton claimed to have reached out to Tamworth seeking “a joint statement condemning the actions of all involved”,
adding: “We feel that both clubs have a joint responsibility to examine ourselves first without trying to pass blame to others.”
Plenty played out on social media with Nuneaton head coach Andrew Danylyszyn, who was
joint-manager of Tamworth until December 2021, tweeting footage of abuse directed at his wife, who was present with his two children. He also alleged he had been spat at and racially abused.
Tamworth keeper Jas
Singh tweeted that “a small percentage of both sets of fans ruined what could [have] been a great night for everyone”, with Boro striker Luke Benbow claiming he had heard racial abuse.
Boro duo Lathaniel Rowe-Turner and Ryan Beswick blamed both sets of fans, while goalkeeper Tony Breeden posted: “My kids can’t even come [to] watch me because it’s not safe.”
No arrests were made but Staffordshire Police said “a number of suspects have already been identified” with “appropriate action” to follow.