A group of Plymouth Argyle fans have been condemned over a chant sung in the concourse during the derby against Exeter City on Monday night.
Two goals from substitute Ryan Hardie helped the League One leaders get one over their rivals in a high quality Devon derby at Home Park.
Archie Collins side-footed Exeter ahead from close range, only for that to be cancelled out just two minutes later thanks to Morgan Whittaker’s well-taken equaliser.
Sam Nombe restored the Grecian’s lead shortly after the break after some fine work by Jay Stansfield, but again the Pilgrims hit back soon after thanks to Bali Mumba’s powerful long-range effort.
Substitute Hardie’s well-taken goal with 20 minutes left put Argyle ahead for the first time in what was a superb advrtisement for League One football, before he calmly slotted home a pass from Whittaker late on to seal bragging rights for the green side of Devon.
The result is Plymouth’s ninth successive home league win took them four points clear at the top of the table, while Exeter sit 10th.
Steven Schumacher reached for the perfect word to sum up the tumultuous but thrilling game against Exeter.
“Emotional,” he said.
“It was a bit of roller-coaster,” said Schumacher. “It was not great conceding the first goal, not great going behind, but I’m relieved that it’s over and pleased with how the lads responded to two moments of adversity.
“They responded straight away from the first goal and Bali produces an unbelievable strike to get us out a bit of a mess that we put ourselves into.
“When you have people with the quality we have got in the team, you’ve always got a chance.
“[It was] an unbelievable touch-and-finish from Morgan, Bali produces a worldie, and Ryan Hardie comes off the bench, doesn’t moan, and looks a real threat when he gets on the pitch. The two chances that he had, he despatched them perfectly.”
“When we have setbacks, it is important that nobody panics,” he said. “The bench is quite calm, we figure out what has gone on. The players are not falling out with each other, they are not getting on each other’s backs. They just have to work a bit harder to get back into the games.
“There are times where I have to be animated, to get messages to the players, but when there’s 16,000 in the house it is hard. I always have headaches after games because I shout so loud!
“But if the players can see that we are calm on the sidelines, and we’re not going crazy and falling out with them if they make a mistake, they understand that we back them and give them confidence to keep trying to play and do the right things.”
— Oscar Belso (@oscarbelso22) November 1, 2022
Exeter boss Gary Caldwell gave his reaction on the match: “The result is disappointing as we came here to win the game,” said the City boss. “We didn’t hold onto the lead for long enough both times.
“I was happy with the performance, we caused them a lot of problems and looked comfortable on the ball and had a real threat on the counter attack and scored two brilliant goals and took the lead twice, but the dissapointing thing is we didn’t hold onto the lead both times for long enough.
“That is probably a lesson we need to learn, when we do go in front we need to try and control the game and almost push home that advantage. We allowed them back in the game twice.
“It’s never nice to lose football matches, the players are hurting, we’re hurting as staff but we have to take the positive out of it and work on the little things we can do better.”
There was a large police presence for the game with officers stationed at multiple spots across the city ahead of the sell-out derby clash.
Local officers were supported by the Avon and Somerset Mounted Section, the Alliance Drone Unit and by colleagues from The British Transport Police.
There had been several reports that there has been at least one incident involving fans in the city centre, near the train station. One picture appears to show police keeping back fans near the railway station.
Fans have been warned against using flares at the match, with it stated those who are found with them would be denied entry.
— Matt Hookway (@MattHookway) November 1, 2022
Plymouth fans have been condemned over the chant sung in the concourse during the Devon derby against Exeter…
@Debs778: I’m so sorry that some of our so called “fans” behaved like this , there’s absolutely no excuse for it 😔
@oscarbelso22: @OfficialECFC @Argyle this is disgraceful. Deserve a banning order #ecfc #pafc
@Stevied1977: Yeah got no time for that shit
@injuredturtle: Vile cunts
@joblanchard42: Absolutely disgraceful, the age of some of these as well. No excuse ever to celebrate ppls death. @Argyle please do something about this element of our great club
@beercan75: Absolutely shocking. Ban the lot of them.
@League1news22: Shame on you @Argyle. This should never happen at a football match or anywhere in general. Find the men that are responsible and ban them, totally unacceptable
@argyleRMassive: As always you get the normal tossers going Argyle not for the football!! Beer & gear and they think they are something they ain’t! ((✊🏻)) No need for chants like that! Cancer has no colours! #pafc #ecfc
@billyhop90: Absolutely disgusting this
@TomColes194: Argyle should ban them for life and people who employ them should sack them.
@CornishBankie: Totally unacceptable. Identify and ban them @Argyle
@RobBidder: @OfficialECFC @Argyle it should be easy enough to identify the individuals involved and then suitably punished. Regardless of who you support this has no place in society or football and if the individuals don’t know what they’re doing they need to be educated. Name, shame & ban
@Voodoov21: Unbelievable at any time, but especially at the moment 😩
@GreenArmy46: Ban the lot of um!
@NAD_Slack7: Wankers, instant ban @Argyle bring shame on the club.
@J0G3P: Ban them @Argyle
@Born_green72: Vermin…. Especially when Exeter were respectful about of our recent bereavement.
@Dezzi_Distin: I’ll never understand this. Especially with recent events.
@HarrisonBeer3: rivalry goes out the window – singing something like this is genuinely not ok. have a word @Argyle
@MaccaSouth: Small minority of dickheads dragging our club through the mud. Was only last week all singing and paying respects to Gordon sparks, even singing his name last night too, but cancer only matters if it’s argyle related? Fucking idiots. They should be banned, period. #pafc
@RyanTheGrecian9: Weird lot they are. Sums them up really. It was inevitable they were gonna sing something about Stanno! Disgraceful
@zakbrownz: Football is about on the pitch, not about the dead, We respect the dead at all times, I’m embarrassed by this behaviour. If you joined in with these chants. You should be at very least apologising. Think how would you feel it if someone started chanting about your family.
@LeeSmit35077313: Obviously cancer has never affected them. Bunch of idiots. Cancer has no colours. The fact that jay stansfield is playing for them is a great story.
@traceyslough: What idiots ban the lot of them 😡
@foreverayellow: thats appalling, shite banter if thats all you have, talking about the death of someone, grim
Martin ‘Bolton’ Sheehy: Scum 🤬
Matthew Miller: I am shocked and appalled 😳 I am sorry to stanno family and ecfc
Exeter’s Jay Stansfield recently honoured his late father Adam, chatting with Jeff Stelling.
Adam’s name and legacy lives on thanks to the Adam Stansfield Foundation and his eldest son, Jay.
Jay has his dad’s shirts on the wall of his hallway alongside his own at home back in London but came across on another treasure at home in Tiverton. “When it was lockdown I was out in the garden playing with my brothers and I found a pair of boots under the bed,” Jay says. “They were old [Nike] Tiempo 90s. I asked Mum: ‘Can I wear them?’ I went out in the garden and wore them and in my head I was going to wear them in the next game. I thought it would be a nice touch but they didn’t last, the bottom fell off. I’ve got a lot of his boots in glass boxes. It is nice to have things around. Mum gave me his watch to wear to prom when I finished school. I like looking at photos but obviously it makes me upset, and I don’t always want to be upset. There are positives in life that I can take from it. I try to be as strong as possible and look like I’m OK when sometimes I’m not.”
Jay recalls the time he watched his Dad play at Wembley in 2008, with Rob Edwards netting for Exeter to seal promotion to the EFL, and takes to YouTube to watch it back. “I get a bit emotional if I hear his name from the commentators or things like that so I try to keep level-headed and not look or talk about him too much,” he says. “My mum was telling me a story about when he didn’t have a clue that he was going to start but he turned up and scored the winner against Oxford. I’ve sat and watched that game back.”
Jay also had some of his traits: “I always run with my hands in and with my thumb up, something he used to do as well.”
Adam Stansfield was an English professional footballer who played as a striker and played professionally for the likes of Yeovil Town, Hereford United and Exeter City, and won promotion from the Football Conference to The Football League with all three teams.
Having played for three counties as a child, Stansfield began his career in non-league with Cullompton Rangers and Elmore, and had unsuccessful trials at league teams.
At the age of 23, he signed his first professional contract with Yeovil, after impressing their then-manager Gary Johnson in a match against them.
In his first season, he helped them win the FA Trophy, scoring in the 2002 final.
The following season, Yeovil won the Conference and promotion into the EFL, although Stansfield was ruled out with a broken leg in the first game.
In 2004, he transferred to Hereford, where he won promotion to the Football League via the 2006 play-offs, and repeated the feat with Exeter City two years later.
He also helped Exeter earn promotion into League One in 2009.
At international level, Stansfield played five matches and scored one goal for England’s national semi-professional team, winning the 2005 Four Nations Tournament.
Stansfield was sadly diagnosed with colorectal cancer in April 2010, and returned to training after having surgery and chemotherapy, but died on the 10th of August that year.
A foundation in his name was posthumously set up by his family to provide sporting opportunities and raise awareness of colorectal cancer.
💬 “I don’t usually speak about it much with my family, I keep him close to my heart. I want to make him proud and live in my own footsteps.”
— Exeter City FC (@OfficialECFC) September 12, 2022