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Slough boss slams Bath’s call to abandon game despite officials happy to resume after fan falls ill

Slough boss Scott Davies slams Bath’s call to abandon their game despite officials being happy to resume after a fan falls ill.

The incident occurred during the second half of the National League South fixture between Slough Town and Bath City. The match was stopped in the 70th minute, with Slough leading 4-2, having been 4-0 up at half-time.

Players were taken off in respect, with Bath posting on social media: “It’s been announced that we are now awaiting an ambulance to arrive at Arbour Park. Both sets of players have been taken off the pitch. Our thoughts continue to be with the individual involved.”

It was then confirmed that the match would not be restarted. Bath added: “This afternoon’s game at Arbour Park has been abandoned following a medical emergency. Everyone at the club sends their unconditional love and support to the individual involved.”

Slough tweeted: “Match abandoned. Due to the ongoing medical emergency, we must inform both supporters that today’s game has been abandoned. Updates to follow.

Slough Town said per their website www.sloughtownfc.net: “Regretfully, our National League South match against Bath City today was abandoned in the second half of the game, with Slough Town leading 4-2.

“A medical emergency affecting a Slough Town supporter occurred during the second half, which led to a pause in the game and the teams leaving the pitch.

“Following the pause in the game, the match officials confirmed that despite them being happy to resume the match, the Bath City management refused, which led to the abandonment.

“We are pleased to confirm that the supporter is well and was sat up and already feeling much better prior to the match being abandoned as he awaited the arrival of an ambulance. We would like to thank the medical staff of both clubs for their prompt assistance.

“Our thanks also go to the supporters in attendance on a special day for the club and for our charity partner, Thames Hospice. The match attracted an attendance of 1,406 – our highest in the league so far this season and our second highest league attendance since we moved to Arbour Park in 2016.

“We will issue a further statement on today’s events in due course.”

Scott Davies spoke afterwards, per Slough Express: “Yeah, first and foremost, the most important thing is that the fan is ok. He’s sat in the physio room and is talking and has been on the phone to his wife. I’ve just been told he’s a diabetic, so I’ve been told he’s fallen ill, momentarily.

“We left the pitch, out of respect more than anything. After that, the next thing we’re told is that the game has been abandoned. Jerry Gill, their manager, has said that for the welfare of his players, stopping the game and starting the game would be no good for his players who have hamstring injuries. That’s the truth, let me tell you that, I’m not lying.

“It’s an utter disgrace because I think he’s cheated his way out of the game. He’ll watch this, of course he will, but there’s a way to call a game off. If someone has had a heart attack and is unconscious in the ground, I’ll be the first to walk off the pitch. I’ve got a good heart on me, but when someone is up and about and is communicating, that’s the most important part.

“When that is the case, the game should restart. But, when you get given an opportunity at 4-2 down, it should have been eight. They’re thinking ‘let’s get the game called off and come back on another night’.

“Because we’re obviously fighting for the same positions in the play-offs. It would have been a massive three points for us if we could have seen it through to 90 minutes.

“But he’s won today. Today, we all go home feeling sick. I can’t believe the game has been called off, I’ll be honest with you. Christian Eriksen had a heart attack on the pitch, and they played on. But for the welfare of his players and their hamstrings, I hope they’re ok.

“I get on well with Jerry, and I’ve always had respect for him, like I do with everyone. There’s no manager in this league that I don’t get on with, but he’s pulled a fast one today and he knows that. They lost on Tuesday night, and they were probably going to lose today, hopefully. He’s seen an opportunity where he can get the game called off and I don’t think it’s for the right reasons. If it was for the right reasons, I’d shake hands and walk off the pitch whether we’re winning, losing, or drawing, but it’s not the right reasons. It was a 10-minute break, and we could have resumed. We have 15 minutes at half-time, so their players’ hamstrings, I don’t know what they do, but they came out looking alright didn’t they? I just can’t believe it.

“I feel sick to my stomach now because the fan is ok, which is the most important thing, and we could have played on with the game, but we’ve not been given the opportunity.

“The referee has said to me, he can’t force them to come out of the changing room and play. Even their players were saying ‘we want to carry on’, so let’s be real about it. There’s only one man who’s got the job done today.

“We now have to come back on a Tuesday night and try to recreate what we’ve done today. It will be difficult, of course it will, they’re a good side, but we should have been eight or nine nil up I think, we were brilliant. They got away with one.”

On the strength of Slough’s first half performance, Davies added: “For 45 minutes, that was probably perfection. I thought we were brilliant. It could have been seven or eight, that’s how it felt on the pitch, and they couldn’t get near us.

“I thought the boys had great energy, quality and work rate in the final third. We scored different types of goals. If they come back on a Tuesday night, just do it, celebrate it, because that’s ultimately what they want.

“It could happen, but we’ll try our best to make sure it doesn’t happen.

“We’ve had 1,400 fans here today which is a great turnout. We’ve worn the kit with pride. And now we’ve got to play them again to try and get these three points which could be massive at the end of the season.

“If that’s what stops us getting in there, and helps them get in there, well job done, I guess. Slavi (Spasov) is gutted because those goals are wiped out now. The lads are devastated, they’re gutted, of course they are. We worked on things in the week and when they pay off…. but the most important thing is the fan here. I don’t want to come across as too sulky.

“I said to Jerry, ‘the fan is fine’, we can go back out there and play. Like has happened at other games. The right thing to do would be to resume, but if you give someone an inch, they’ll take a mile.

“The ref didn’t even consult me. He spoke to Jerry, and he spoke to Yella. We probably didn’t get there first if you know what I mean. I think the biggest mistake we’ve made is going indoors. If we’d have stayed out, but I’m just gutted for everyone. Angry, disappointed. I feel like I’ve been cheated, and the lads feel like they’ve been cheated.

“But I hope when we come to play them on the Tuesday night, whenever that is, we can put in a good performance. I’m angry at the moment.

“We’ve had kids on the bench in the last few weeks, but you get on with it. You come across hurdles in football, and you have to jump those hurdles. We’ve managed to do it on limited resources, but we do it through togetherness and hard work and honesty. And that’s one thing we’ve always prided ourselves on here. Myself, the management team and players, we know we’re not the best team in the league but we’ll always give it a go and have a fight.

“I’d like to think if the shoe was on the other foot today, we’d have continued. I don’t think we’d have chucked the game in, I really don’t.

“We’ve had a week where we’ve been to the hospice, and I met a guy there who went to see Slough last year. He’s really poorly but I learned a lot from him this week.

“I said to the assistant manager that I went to the hospice, and I met this guy. He absolutely blew my socks off because he was the happiest man in the room. He was probably the most poorly man in the room. But I thought to myself, ‘whatever happens with the result today, win lose or draw, be proud of it because there are worse things in life. It put things in perspective.

“I’ll go home tonight and be angry for an hour or two, but it’s a football match. But ultimately, I thought they didn’t want to lose it and they saw an opportunity to jump out and cancel the game. But to wear the shirt today for the hospice was extremely proud for us and they do an amazing job there. I think today they would have been proud of us wearing their shirts and that’s the main thing.”

Fans reacted after Slough boss slams Bath’s call to abandon game despite officials happy to resume after a fan falls ill…

@lucytebbit: Great interview. Reminding us at the end about the hospice, you wore those shirts with pride. 💛💙💚

@Hatman02131772: No surprise! But Scott is already talking about a “replay ” so there seems little chance of any other outcome! All wrong!

@minehead_rebel: Great interview. Telling it straight.

@DomJohn881: Timings all over the place. Understand frustration w/outcome-to suggest that the referee made the decision based solely on JG request and w/out any consultation is bizarre. Game already halted for 10 mins before the announcement was made that an ambulance had been called.

@tonyrandall37: What a great interview in that situation. Scott we rate you as a player and as a young manager learning quickly. But mostly we appreciate your honesty. Thanks

@M_Woff16: Interesting. Now need statements from @BathCity_FC and @NationalLeague to clarify the matter. I would have assumed the officials had the final call on an abandonment? 🤷‍♂️

@readingrebel: Excellent interview Scott and more importantly said with truth and honesty.

@jamesharper_1: bath management are unjust

@jamiewykes99: Surely we get the points or replay the last 20 minutes if it’s them refusing to play?? @TheVanaramaNL

@SWS1948: Gill as classless as ever 🔔🔚

@AndrewSloane6: Over 1400 fans watching a great game of football by both sides with 6 goals scored within 70mins and then Bath’s management team bottle it using a Slough fans illness and misfortune as an excuse. Have a good look at yourself Bath City FC… pathetic!

@MarkRadders: Surely the fact that Jerry gill has blatantly lied in his pre match interview, by trying to throw the ref under the bus, gives us a case to go the league that this was an unjust abandonment.

@UKBear1980: @BathCity_FC Get Jerry Gill to explain this one, absolutely disgraceful!

@RustyRoyal: Refusing to play because of tight hamstrings has to a first. Madness but no real shock. Keep up the good work/season STFC. Classy club. 👍

@KeithPhillips09: If officials state they were happy to resume game and Bath management refused, then they’ve forfeited the match against that precise directive. Slough should be automatically awarded 3 points regardless of score line/time of medical incident. Hamstring crap is a deceitful con

@neildarby70: Pretty pathetic to refuse to play when you are losing when it didnt affect anything to do with your team, surely sense prevails and either replay from 70 minutes with the score at 4-2, or just award the points to Slough because the opposition refused to play

@Barbow52: If @BathCity_FC management refused to come out then they should forfeit the game?

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