16 October 2021

Jason Goodliffe confirms defender Coby Rowe’s racism allegation at Crawley

16 October 2021

Assistant manager Jason Goodliffe confirmed that defender Coby Rowe had complained about an alleged racist comment from the crowd early on in Sutton’s 1-0 victory at Crawley

Referee Tom Nield spoke to the fourth official after Rowe made him aware of the comments, and there was a crowd announcement warning supporters of a potential abandonment if the alleged abuse continued.

“It has been reported by the referee to people who matter,” Goodliffe said.

“It is something serious if Coby repeated it. The stewards managed to stop what went on and hopefully it’ll be the end of it.”

Crawley head coach John Yems said no one at the club condones any form of racism, but felt referee Nield “lost complete control of the game” with a string of stoppages.

“No one wants racism,” he said. “But the referee lost complete control of the game and was terrible. The refereeing at this level is beyond poor.”

In a statement, Crawley added they were aware of the incident and said alongside Sussex Police they were “working to identify the potential person/persons involved and is prepared to take the strongest possible action against them.”.

A goal from substitute Isaac Olaofe gave in-form Sutton their sixth victory in the last seven league games and Goodliffe praised the way his men “found a way to win”.

He said: “The team got their reward and the two centre-backs were outstanding in a good team performance.

“It was a very bitty game, very stop-start, but to come to Crawley, who were unbeaten at home, and win was a big achievement.”

Sutton had the backing of nearly 600 fans in a crowd of 3,572 and Goodliffe added: “The supporters made it special.”

Crawley striker Tom Nichols had a penalty saved by keeper Dean Bouzanis shortly before Olaofe’s winner, and Yems was most concerned at the manner in which his side conceded.

He said: “I’m fed up with saying the same things – we’ve let in another poor goal. We didn’t defend well, we lost 1-0 and never really got started. We’re not bashed up but if we don’t learn from it we will lose more games 1-0.”

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