Ref slams Sleights ‘fan’ after attack

Sleights take on Ayton in Saturday's controversial cup tie. Picture: Alan Wastell
Sleights take on Ayton in Saturday's controversial cup tie. Picture: Alan Wastell

A local referee has revealed his disappointment after witnessing a spectator attack a player during a heated cup game on Saturday.

Ref Andy Micklethwaite (pictured) was in charge of the League Cup quarter-final between Sleights and Ayton, a game the latter won in the last minute of extra-time.

Daily Vox Pop 'Andy Micklethwaite'Picture by Ian Johnson  112814c'18/07/11

Daily Vox Pop 'Andy Micklethwaite'Picture by Ian Johnson 112814c'18/07/11

Chaotic scenes ensued when an Ayton player who had been substituted was confronted by a spectator adjacent to Sleights’ Caedmon School pitch.

Both sets of players waded in to separate the pair, who were wrestling on the floor, much to the surprise of the man in black Micklethwaite.

Micklethwaite said: “I’ve never seen anything like that.

“It was a good, competitive cup g ame and suddenly a spectator started on an Ayton player, who had been substituted.

“It all happened so quickly. I didn’t see the initial incident, but all the players rushed in to separate the pair, who were on the floor by this point.”

Micklethwaite added that the spectator, who Whitby-based club Sleights say has nothing to do with them, refused to give him his name.

“I went over to the spectator and he refused to give me his name,” added Filey-based ref Micklethwaite.

“At this point I told both sides that I was going to abandon the game, and the fan was escorted away from the pitch.”

The referee was also verbally abused by another spectator after the game.

The former Hunmanby Hornets Juniors coach added: “Ayton ended up winning the match late on, and after the final whistle I was approached by another spectator who said I was ‘the worst referee he’d ever seen’.

“He was adamant he wasn’t associated with Sleights and then he went and stood outside the changing rooms waiting for his son to appear.

“Credit has to go to both sets of players, I have no problem with either team.

“There were a lot of fans and parents there who were just gobsmacked by what they were witnessing.”

Micklethwaite has sent his report to the East Riding County FA and to Saturday League secretary Andy Smith.

The Saturday League are set to host a committee meeting next week.

“This is something the league need to look at,” he added.