Royston Town triumph over high-flying Kettering overshadowed by ‘disgusting’ alleged spitting incident

PUBLISHED: 15:55 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:55 05 February 2018

Sam Corcoran (white) is held back after knocking off a Kettering Town fan's glasses during ugly scenes after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo

Sam Corcoran (white) is held back after knocking off a Kettering Town fan's glasses during ugly scenes after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2018

Garden Walk witnessed ‘ugly’ scenes that overshadowed a 4-3 triumph by Royston Town over high-flying Kettering Town on Saturday in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier League.

Sam Corcoran (left) remonstrates with Kettering Town fans after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo Sam Corcoran (left) remonstrates with Kettering Town fans after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo

The former league leaders were defeated by the Crows during an enthralling match – however it was the controversial events after the final whistle which will be sadly remembered instead.

Moments after an own goal from Kettering’s Tom Marshall’s clinched three points for the home side, Sam Corcoran was alleged to have been spat upon in a turn of events which shocked many present – while Castle was also alleged to have had a beer thrown at him.

Sam Corcoran (white) is held back after knocking off a Kettering Town fan's glasses during ugly scenes after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo Sam Corcoran (white) is held back after knocking off a Kettering Town fan's glasses during ugly scenes after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo

The disturbing incidents took place as players, managers and back-room staff from both sides walked off the pitch in heated discussion with the officials – before a flashpoint occurred which involved pushing and shoving between rival parties.

According to an eyewitness who spoke to CrowSport after the match Castle was leaving the field and walked by a group shouting at him before one threw a drink at him.

Sam Corcoran (left) remonstrates with Kettering Town fans after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo Sam Corcoran (left) remonstrates with Kettering Town fans after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo

Midfielder Corcoran then approached spectators and became involved in a heated exchange after his offer of a handshake was pushed away.

The onlooker said the group continued to shout at him as he became embroiled in the middle of an unseemly scuffle.

Sam Corcoran (left) remonstrates with Kettering Town fans after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo Sam Corcoran (left) remonstrates with Kettering Town fans after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo

It was then the alleged spitting incident was said to have taken place - leaving the former St Albans player insisting he had to wipe spittle from his eye - before he was ushered away by Royston staff in a ‘really ugly scene’.

The popular 26-year-old said: “[Spitting] is one of the worst things you can do to someone isn’t it? I was a bit shocked and I’m glad I didn’t react.

Sam Corcoran (left) remonstrates with Kettering Town fans after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo Sam Corcoran (left) remonstrates with Kettering Town fans after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo

“It’s not a nice thing to have in the game, an unfortunate incident. A few of the other boys got abuse coming down the tunnel, emotions were running high.”

Corcoran also shared the alleged incident on social media after the match, writing on his personal Twitter account: “A fan actually spat in my face.”

Sam Corcoran (left) remonstrates with Kettering Town fans after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo Sam Corcoran (left) remonstrates with Kettering Town fans after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo

Goals from Adam Marriott, Scott Bridges, Josh Castiglione and Marshall’s own goal cancelled out strikes from Lindon Meikle, Matthew Stevens and a Brett Solkhon penalty as Royston moved to seventh.

Yet it was the disturbing scenes at the end of the match which will mean the return game against the Poppies at Latimer Park 24 hours before Valentine’s Day will require strong officiating from an experienced official to avoid any further spats.

Kettering Town fans shout abuse at Steve Castle and his Royston Town coaching staff after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo Kettering Town fans shout abuse at Steve Castle and his Royston Town coaching staff after the final whistle. Picture: Danny Loo

Crows boss Castle spoke to CrowSport in the aftermath of the unfortunate incidents, referencing West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku being banned for six games for spitting at Wigan Athletic’s Nick Powell during their FA Cup fourth round 2-0 defeat to the Latics, as evidence of footballers receiving a ban for such ungentlemanly conduct.

However he was also concerned no such sanctions are in place for supporters.

He said: “I didn’t see the incident. It was mentioned in the changing room. It’s disgusting, it’s all well and good telling players off for it and although [Masuaku] got told off when supporters do it it’s equally as bad - it’s disappointing but we just move on.

“Their crowd were very passionate and unhappy about losing. There was nothing on our part but it was a storm in a teacup as far as I’m concerned.

Castle declined to comment about beer allegedly being thrown at him. Royston Town also declined to offer an official statement on the incidents.

CrowSport contacted Kettering Town for an official statement on Monday afternoon.

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