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Hungerford boss hits out at ‘unacceptable behaviour’

HUNGERFORD Town manager Danny Robinson said Easter Monday’s defeat at play-off rivals Merthyr Town was ‘insignificant’ compared to the alleged racist abuse suffered by one of his players.

Robinson said his team was prepared to walk off the pitch after Ramarni Medford-Smith was abused by a member of the crowd midway through the first half.

Medford-Smith reported the abuse to the referee who stopped the game and an announcement was made over the tannoy to warn spectators of their behaviour.

But Robinson said: “I back my player.

“He is our concern and the result is insignificant compared to the welfare of my player because there are more important things in life than football.

“It is totally unacceptable and there is no place for that sort of abuse in football or anywhere in society.

“Merthyr were fantastic hosts and sometimes something like this happens which is out of their hands.

“They, and we, will be making internal inquiries.

“Ninety-nine per cent of Merthyr fans were brilliant – they backed their team and helped them over the line.

“It just takes one person to spoil the whole thing.”

A statement from Merthyr Town said: “The board of Merthyr Town FC are aware of an alleged racist incident in today’s game against Hungerford, with one of the visiting players claiming to be the subject of a racist remark.

“Investigations into the incident are ongoing. However, as a community club, Merthyr Town FC strongly condemns the use of racist, abusive or homophobia language of any description; be that from a regular or casual supporter; at home or away.

“Such behaviour will simply not be tolerated, and appropriate action taken against any individual identified – including a lifetime ban from the club, in addition to any legal proceedings that may be instigated.

“The club are actively engaged with match officials and members of the Hungerford committee to resolve the incident as swiftly as possible.”

The incident marred a miserable day for the Crusaders, who slipped to a 3-0 defeat that leaves Merthyr in the driving seat in the race for the remaining play-off spot.

Hungerford had briefly climbed into the final play-off place after beating another of their rivals, Bracknell Town, 3-1 on Good Friday.

Meanwhile, Hungerford are still on the lookout for a new chairman after Alan O’Donohue stepped down last week.

Deputy chairman Cris Bowden is standing in for O’Donohue, but he said: “The likelihood is that we will have to leave it until the end of the season and then we will have a whole summer to look for a replacement.

“Since Alan stepped down we have had a very busy period with three games in a week and we have not really had time to go into it.”

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