PETERBOROUGH LEAGUE: Match abandoned following alleged referee assault.
A Peterborough League Division Two match was abandoned at half-time today (December 10) after an alleged assault by a Pinchbeck United reserve team player on match referee Phil Hayes.
The incident reportedly took place as the teams left the field at half-time in the match at Tydd St Mary. Tydd were leading 4-0 at the time.
Pinchbeck reacted quickly, issuing a club statement tonight, and pulling their reserve team from the Peterborough League. It read: “Pinchbeck United Football Club are disgusted and appalled by the behaviour of one of our reserve players today.
“His actions are certainly not a representation of our football club and there is no place for that in football. We have already been in touch with the PDFL, Tydd St Mary and most importantly the referee, Phil Hayes, to apologise profusely for his actions.
“As a result the reserve team will be withdrawn from their league with immediate effect. We hope this incident doesn’t put Phil off continuing to referee, he is a top quality and well respected official at this level of football.”
A spokesman from Tydd St Mary said: “It happened at half-time as we were walking off the pitch. The ref didn’t say or do anything and the player charged at him and hit him on the back of the head!
“The ref said it had to be abandoned and seemed very shaken up by it. It’s a shame. He’s a very good referee and a very nice bloke.”
Mr Hayes, a very experienced referee regarded as one of the best in the Peterborough League, was unavailable for comment.
The Peterborough League have been experiencing a referee shortage this season with several games having no appointed officials every weekend.
League officials Darren Fogg said on Twitter: ‘Absolute disgrace if true and we at Peterborough League will do all we can to make sure the people (responsible) are dealt with.”