Another pitch invasion turned sour in the EFL qualifiers as a Mansfield player was assaulted by a Northampton fan on Wednesday.
After Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp was assaulted by a full-time Nottingham Forest fan in Tuesday’s Blades loss, Manfield’s Jordan Bowery was pushed around by a fan who trespassed on the pitch at Sixfields in Northampton’s loss in the semi-final of the Ligue 2 play-offs. final.
The game was interrupted when a Cobblers fan ran onto the field during stoppage time, threw a flare at the players, and attempted to fight the coaching staff.
Bowery appeared unharmed and the fan was led off the pitch by security as some Northampton faithful tried to tackle him on the touchline.
The events unfolded on talkSPORT 2 and raised even more concerns about the safety of footballers.
Commentator Joe Shennan said: “It’s shameful. Jordan Bowery has just been shoved by a Northampton supporter.
“He calls himself a supporter, he’s not a football fan, we need people like him out of the game.
“He always tries to get at the players at Mansfield, these are shameful scenes.
“He is a disgrace to the club and a disgrace to football. There are Northampton fans who stand up in disbelief.
“There’s a flare and a puff of orange smoke coming through the pitch, the idiot is being driven across the touchline.
“I hope he never comes back again. And it’s getting worse now, there are fans trying to attack the pitch invader.
“A bottle was thrown at the fan – he will surely be arrested. These are very ugly scenes and a very sad end to Northampton’s season.
“After the scenes we saw at the City Ground, it is time to recognize that there is not necessarily a major problem, but certainly a problem of spectator encroachment which is worsening.
Co-commentator Adrian Clarke added: “It was horrible to watch. It was ugly. A complete rogue.
“He throws a flare at the players, it’s very lucky it didn’t hit a player.
“He is pushing Jordan Bowery, he wants to fight members of the coaching staff, his own fans have been booing him out of the stadium.
“What an idiot! What’s wrong with these people?
Reacting to the full-time incident, talkSPORT 2 host Dan Windle insisted footballers simply aren’t safe anymore.
The events at Nottingham Forest, just 24 hours before Northampton’s defeat, had already raised many questions about the safety of footballers during pitch invasions.
Windle said: “Once again we have to talk about the behavior of football fans.
“As small as this minority is, whether it’s one fan or many others, will the game continue to address these issues in retrospect?
“The game has to look long and hard. Football fans need to take a long, hard look at themselves.
“Our players, simple as that, are no longer safe.
“If you were sitting in your office, would you expect someone to attack you? No.
“If it takes heavily reduced crowds, appropriate measures, long queues, sneaking around to get everyone checked…this is what the future could look like.”
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