We were up in front of the FA today on a misconduct charge that came as a result of the Ramsgate match back in February (to remind yourself what happened click here).
Whilst we felt that all the trouble had been caused by the Ramsgate player who headbutted Liam Henderson, and by Ramsgate’s goalkeeper running over and getting involved, what can best be described as a melee broke out involving most of the players and both benches. This was all captured by DVD footage, which we were sent.
The referee’s assessor then wrote a particularly damning report citing several fights on (and off) the pitch – a report we rejected and we wrote lengthy statements to repudiate it. We also requested a personal hearing.
Peter Worby represented the club today and at the two hour hearing was able to cross examine the referee and one of the linesmen, as well as make a number of points about how it was our players who were incited and how our players were protecting their teammate who had been attacked.
Peter did an excellent job and I think the panel accepted much of what he said. The trouble is that the DVD footage shows a brief confrontation between many players from both sides so we were always going to be found guilty. However, Peter’s tremendous efforts (he was asked whether he had ever had any legal training) meant that we received a fine of £150 (as well as losing our deposit of £100) – in the circumstances probably the best we could have hoped for.
The strangest thing about the game was of course that until the final whistle hardly anything had happened to make you suspect any possibility of an incident. In fact on the DVD you can see the final whistle and most of the players and respective management teams begin to turn towards the changing rooms at the other end of the pitch only to suddenly realise something had ‘kicked off’.
Please don’t ask what happened to Ramsgate – we simply don’t know and next season when we play them I want to ensure they are welcomed to Ruislip and we enjoy two trouble free and competitive games against them.
These things happen, fortunately not that often and of course we hope not again. As we know the fine can be better spent elsewhere. But if you have a court case coming up then Peter could be your man.