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Non league pre-season friendly abandoned after a 22-man punch up

A non league pre-season friendly was abandoned, on Thursday night, after a 22-man punch up which took place on the field of play.

Northern Premier League Division One South East club Stamford took on Grantham Town of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, however the game ended up turning sour.

The hosts became concerned about the safety of their players following a series of ‘poor challenges’ which took place in the opening half.

Stamford were leading 2-0 at the time, when players reacted to a poor challenge on a home player. It was one of many tackles Graham Drury, the manager of Stamford, was unhappy with and after chatting with the Grantham staff along with the referee, the game was halted.

The Daniels took the lead inside the opening minute when Cosmos Matwasa’s went forward to set up Tom Siddons who hit home past Grantham goalkeeper Jan Budtz.

Stamford then doubled the scoring just after the 30th minute, when a skillful pass from Rob Morgan met Tendai Chitiza who curled the ball into the back of the net.

The hosts were more likely to add to their tally with the Gingerbreads really struggling to get at their opponents.

Drury said: “I would like to apologise to all the supporters about the game being cut short.

“Both managers and the referee decided it was the right decision to call a halt to the game because the conditions were becoming too dangerous.

“I’ve seen the suggestions there was a mass brawl between the players which is an exaggeration. There had been some poor challenges on my players and then one particularly bad one led to my players reacting and the Grantham players also getting involved.

“It was more like handbags at dawn than a mass confrontation. Players were protecting their teammmates and both managers decided it was better to stop the game and the referee agreed. Fairplay to the Grantham manager for agreeing to this.

“The safety of the players was the most important thing. I took the fixture to do Grantham a favour and I only had 13 fit players to start with. A couple were struggling to carry on when the game was abandoned so calling things off was the right thing to do. We have an FA Cup tie in a couple of weeks.”

Fans gave their reaction after the non league pre-season friendly was abandoned after a 22-man punch up, see what they had to say on Twitter…

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