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Police launch investigation after serious incident at Mansfield v Harrogate

Police launch an investigation after a serious incident took place at the weekend’s League Two fixture Mansfield v Harrogate.

A complaint was made to officers after a spectator was heard to make a ‘racist remark’ during the Stags’ fixture at the One Call Stadium.

The unbeaten Sulphurites stormed to the top of League Two with a 3-1 victory where the home side had both Ollie Clarke and Stephen Quinn sent off.

On the 3rd minute, Stephen McLaughlin sent a free-kick into the far post where Rhys Oates steered the ball home with a sublime finish past Mark Oxley to put Mansfield ahead.

However the visitors were level within two minutes as Luke Armstrong headed the ball home from George Thomson’s corner.

Just before half time, Pattison crossed from the right, with Armstrong then flicking the ball for Jack Muldoon to meet it and apply the finish at the far post.

The side with nine men conceded a third on with around 10 minutes remaining as Thomson headed home from close range from a Lewis Page corner.

A Mansfield Town statement said on the incident: “The club has begun an investigation following an alleged racist remark made by a spectator during Saturday’s match at home to Harrogate Town.

“Mansfield Town completely condemns the use of racist language and instances of discriminatory or prejudiced behaviour will not be tolerated at any game at One Call Stadium.

“Any such behaviour has no place within our stadium, our Club, our community or our game.

“Supporters who hear or witness anything deemed inappropriate in this regard are encouraged to report it to a steward or via the Kick it Out App.

“The club is now working with Nottinghamshire Police to establish the facts.

“Should any criminal prosecutions be necessary, the individual will also be subject to severe sanctions from the club, including a ban from One Call Stadium.”

That statement follows a complaint to Nottinghamshire Police.

PC John Albanese, Nottinghamshire Police’s dedicated football officer for Mansfield Town FC, tweeted from his @MansPolFootball account on Saturday: “A disappointing result today, but then it’s only football, you win some you lose some.

“I’m more disappointed to have received a report of racism from one of our own fans.

“If you hear anything please report as the club and police will not tolerate such behaviour.”

Fans reacted as police launch an investigation after the serious incident at Mansfield v Harrogate…

@MarkEng81412342: Well done whoever reported this. I too refuse to stand shoulder to shoulder with bigots at my football club.

@mark78yates: Not good to hear this since I am a season ticket holder myself at Stags.. which area of the ground? I was sat on QLE and I personally did not hear any such remarks made

@jemmapage: Considering our fans boo teams for taking the knee, I’m not surprised.

@ForeverAYellow: How can someone stoop so low?! Is it really that hard to go to a match and intend to really hurt someone’s feelings like that? Proper shameful behaviour and a big shame to see it happening so regularly


Mansfield boss Nigel Clough, addressing the game’s red cards, said: “Just prior to that [two red cards], we should’ve had a penalty. Stephen Quinn went down [in the box] literally 20 seconds before that.

“I’m not sure it’s a clear, goalscoring opportunity [for Clarke’s dismissal]. Richard Nartey (below) is a yard or so behind, so I don’t think it’s clear enough to send him off. We’re going to have a good look and appeal it.

“It wasn’t the referee [who saw the reason for Quinn’s dismissal], it was the assistant. He said he’d seen a kick. So, if that’s the case, that’s inexcusable, and he’ll be fined and dealt with accordingly.

“I don’t want to be moaning about referees, but they are playing an instrumental part in our results at the minute.”

Speaking about the performance in general, the boss added: “I don’t think we were too bad, we’re just conceding very poor goals at very poor times, and making poor decisions.

“To get the start that we did was fantastic and then within a minute, we concede from a free header at a corner, with someone not doing their job again.

“We go in [at half-time] 2-1 down, when we should at least be on level terms. We had situations and balls across the face of goal being cut out.

“We spoke about not wanting to go behind against them [Harrogate], so when we went 2-1 down, you saw them professionally see the game out and make it difficult for us.

“We can’t put ourselves in that position. The number of times we’ve conceded not long after scoring, it’s been far too often.”

“It’s sounds great [to be top of the league],” said Harrogate boss Simon Weaver.

“I know it’s early days and we haven’t got the kind of characters in the changing room to get overly excited but we’re proud.

“We’re very proud of the start we’ve had and we can have a nice weekend now and go again.

“If you don’t start well as a manager you say you don’t look at the table, I’ve looked at it already!

“We’ll see where the next five games go and just be determined every game because we don’t lack passion. If we go flat or anyone gets big-time, they won’t be in the team. They know how I work.

“At this level you can win three, lose three, we did that enough times last year so you don’t go overboard but I’m entitled as manager to be proud of the boys today.”

“I believe our players are telling the truth when they said there was a headbutt on Josh Falkingham and you can see the cut on his face,” added Weaver.

“It’s disappointing because there weren’t many angry tackles out there but we said to the lads at half-time, ‘We need 11 on the pitch.’

“Lewis Page got a yellow card in the first half and we thought, ‘We need you on the pitch.’ We’re going to have to show discipline and emotional control throughout the season because we’re going to go to much bigger places than we’ve got with partisan support and they expect to beat Harrogate Town, let’s be honest.

“We want to thrive in that environment, not get them against us but try and get them against their own team.

“In this day and age you don’t have to do too much to get a yellow card but it’s vital you don’t have another yellow card. We need 11.

“People can play at this level and will take advantage. Fortunately we just showed enough control to keep 11 on the pitch and still show a passionate performance.”

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