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Police release statement after incident during League One match

Police have had to release a statement after an incident which occurred during the League One match between Gillingham and Lincoln City.

A male has been arrested and released on police bail in connection with an allegation of racially aggravated assault during the 1-1 draw which was played out at the Priestfield Stadium.

The game was halted for around five minute after Tayo Edun’s fourth-minute opener when some home supporters clashed with celebrating Imps players by the corner flag.

This is when the alleged incident took place and Lincoln boss Michael Appleton confirmed it was now being investigated by Kent Police.

A statement from the Kent Police force read: “A man arrested in connection with a racially aggravated assault at Priestfield Stadium has been released on police bail whilst enquiries continue.

“The 39-year-old man from Gillingham was arrested at 3.15pm on Saturday 7 August 2021.”

Gillingham, who are also aware of an allegation of racism, are waiting to hear the findings of the investigation and will communicate with the relevant authorities if required.

There was a coming together between Lincoln’s footballers and Gillingham supporters after the away side opened the scoring through Tayo Edun four minutes into the League One match on the opening day of the season.

The celebrations got too out of hand beyond the advertising hoardings near the Gillingham supporters, and two fans appeared to push members of the Lincoln team, while others also approached the players.

After the match, Imps manager Michael Appleton confirmed the police are investigating the incident and will be taking a statement from Lincoln’s Cohen Bramall who is said to have been left visibly upset.

“The police will have to take statements from the Cohen and stuff. We’ll clearly back our players 100 per cent,” said Appleton, who confirmed the allegation referred to an alleged racist comment aimed at Bramall.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans said: “All I know is what the match referee told me, he had it reported to him by a Lincoln player that there was a racist comment made by a spectator and Michael repeated that.

“Michael didn’t hear it, I didn’t hear it, infact I thought someone must have run on the pitch and smacked him. Then the referee made us aware.

“As I said to our chairman, and he repeated it, it has no place in football. No place in Priestfield, it shouldn’t be in football.

“If it has been said then it should be dealt with appropriately.”


Edun put Lincoln ahead one up after four minutes, but the Gills hit back on the verge of half time through Danny Lloyd to claim a point.

Lincoln were loving the good start, with Edun lashing home into the top corner after Jamie Cumming had produced a great save to keep out Anthony Scully’s initial effort.

The hosts came close to equalising just before of the half-hour mark when Vadaine Oliver saw his looping header hit the crossbar, before Josh Griffiths made a smart save to deny Max Ehmer on the rebound.

They did eventually go level just before the break, however, as a fumble from Griffiths led to a goalmouth scramble with the ball eventually being bundled home by Lloyd.

“I’m satisfied, on day one it’s always nice to get off to a win but I think it’s also important to try not to lose,” said Appleton on the draw.

“We all know how difficult this place is, they make it difficult for you.

“I thought the second half we looked miles more like ourselves. It took a long time to really get into it and I think the way we built, the way we passed was much better.

“We created a lot more chances, all that was missing was the last little bit, whether it was the right pass, the right cross or the right shot, but over time that will come.

“We were okay in attack, I still think there’s so much more to come and I just thought we let ourselves down a little bit in the second half with that last little bit.

“But day one, I’m happy, satisfied and we stayed resolute when we had to in that first period.”

Gills boss Steve Evans felt his side could have taken all three points.

“It was two teams that badly wanted to win,” said Evans. “Lincoln wanted to get away to a great start and they did get away to a great start – they were much better than us for 20 minutes.

“Then we realised we had to work harder as a team and be smarter. We got in to half-time, got the goal and we probably should have gone in in front.

“In the second half we dominated the play, they’re playing on the counter and that’s where their chance has come from.

“I’m a little bit disappointed but I’m very proud of the players. We’ve got to get organised, disciplined, fight for everything and see where we go.”

Fans reacted as police release a statement after the incident which occurred during the opening League One match…

@wallace3590: People are broken! We’ve had to do without football for so long, you get let back in and behave like this. Unforgivable

@LN_STU: Swift response by Kent Police

@AllEnglandFlags: Why did Lincoln players celebrate in the gillingham home end. Weird behaviour

@Bendanarama: Alleged racist abuse from our fans to a Lincoln Player, but Scally won’t do shit. He’s more concerned when Someone slags him off on Facebook. #Gillingham

@andyphillips94: We have to show our players huge support next Saturday. Anyone trying to put the fault of this on the players needs their head a good wobble

@kempson_luke: Fuck off Gillingham.. I hope as Lincoln fans we can all get behind our players on Saturday. Such a depressing afternoon.. The buzz from going to Football, then seeing our players treated in such a way made me so angry..

@NickPatt987: Slap him with the harshest punishment. Its 1 person who gets headlines which ruins it for everyone.

@sachhjay: This and the out of date beer really showcase medway doesn’t it

@GavinAndrews83: Fucking idiot. 18 months out of stadiums and this clown does this 5 minutes in

@PaulGambell1: What about the assault on the fans then by the player?

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