Ben Garner issues plea to Swindon fans after dramatic point at Stevenage

Swindon boss Ben Garner has urged the club’s fans to show more self-control (Nigel French/PA) (PA Wire)
19:20pm, Sat 04 Sep 2021
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Swindon manager Ben Garner urged the club’s fans to show more self-control after some of them were involved in ugly scenes towards the end of the 1-1 draw at Stevenage

The atmosphere in the away end at the Lamex Stadium turned toxic, with seats being ripped up and thrown on to the pitch, along with flares, bins and advertising hoardings.

The only distraction for those intent on causing trouble came when they celebrated Jack Payne’s stoppage-time penalty alongside the Robins supporters who preferred to focus on the closing stages on the pitch.

Garner said: “I didn’t see a great deal – I was concentrating on the game.

“They’re passionate and they have a massive impact for us but I urge them to just be sensible with it.

“Keep doing what you’re doing, in terms of supporting the team, but make sure it doesn’t go too far.”

On the match itself, Garner added: “I thought in the first half we were excellent, we deserved to be ahead.

“[It was a] poor goal, from our perspective, to go behind and we pushed and pushed so I’m pleased with a point, in terms of the final stages.

“Going into injury time and you’re behind, you’re obviously pleased to take a point but on the overall balance, I’m disappointed not to come away with all three.”

Swindon goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott did well to keep out Chris Lines’ scorcher early on while Joseph Anang brilliantly tipped Payne’s deflected effort onto the bar at the other end.

Stevenage went ahead when Ben Coker caught Ben Gladwin napping in his own area before producing a smart finish from a narrow angle.

The Robins were handed a very late lifeline when Scott Cuthbert was judged to have fouled Jayden Mitchell-Lawson in the area.

Payne then held his nerve by belting his penalty down the middle with virtually the last kick.

Stevenage boss Alex Revell said of the chaotic finish: “It’s unacceptable, isn’t it?

“You have to remain focused and I thought we did that – I thought we did that really well.

“The decision – and I would imagine the referee has got distracted by what’s going on – just before the penalty, it’s our throw.

“It gets given by the linesman as our throw and it gets changed when it is clearly our throw.

“From that, they switch the play, put in a diagonal, penalty.

“Unfortunately, we can’t look at those and we can only look at ourselves, in terms of our performance, and we deserved more.

“We saw at the end they’re celebrating with their fans when they’ve come and got a draw and, unfortunately, we’re a down group.”

Swindon owner Clem Morfuni and chief executive Rob Angus later issued a statement over the disturbances with the travelling fans.

The statement read: “We were very disappointed by the events that unfolded in the away end towards the end of the game this afternoon.

“While we are incredibly grateful for the large following we have away from home, the events that took place today are unacceptable and cannot happen again.

“Due to the damage that was done to the away end, the club could now face further action from the EFL for this.

“We urge all of our fans to treat visiting stewards, officials and property with the utmost respect at all times.

“Your passion and love for the club is what makes you so special, but you must behave in a responsible and respectful manner.”

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