The BBC have confirmed that the Football Association have been made aware of allegations that Forest Green keeper Bradley Collins spat at Sean Raggett.
City won 1-0 in a scrappy affair at the New Lawn, but they came under fire from full back Scott Laird who described City as ‘not nice’. However, it is their keeper that has now been reported to the FA for the thoroughly unpleasant act of spitting at Raggett, sparking a furious confrontation on the final whistle.
Danny Cowley said after the match: “Their goalkeeper spat at Sean Raggett, so that’s what is all started from. We are categorical on that.
BBC Sport also contacted Forest Green but they are yet to comment. I am not hiding from it. That’s what he did and our players reacted as a consequence of that. We always want them to keep their discipline but sometimes when you are provoked like that, then naturally you can lose your cool. I think Sean lost his cool and a few of ours that saw it did as well and that created what it created, but it was instigated from their goalkeeper who spat at Sean Raggett.”
“I think Sean lost his cool and a few of ours that saw it did as well and that created what it created, but it was instigated from their goalkeeper who spat at Sean Raggett” – Danny Cowley
BBC Sport confirmed they also contacted Forest Green, but they are yet to comment. Numerous Lincoln fans have also complained to the FA about their treatment, left exposed to the elements in the driving rain whilst covered areas remained empty. One fan told how a young girl with her father was so wet that she had to be taken back to the car, and even the stewards moved under cover in the torrential rain.
It is the allegations against the on-loan Chelsea keeper that should concern Forest Green the most though. If there is footage of the incident, which is highly likely, then he could be in some bother. In 2014 George Boyd was given a three-match ban for spitting at Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, but FA guidelines have toughened since then. The next season Manchester United’s Jonny Evans was banned for six games while Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse got banned for seven. This came after the pair were involved in an incident in which they spat on each other.
My gut feeling is that the incident has been caught on camera, because if the FA are aware then it is likely Lincoln have reported it. Danny refused to appeal a red card last season when video evidence wasn’t available of the incident (if memory serves it was Sean Raggett against Wrexham), so he is unlikely to bother the FA unless there is evidence. It may not be Lincoln that have reported it at all, the referee was still on the pitch when the melee broke out, and it is likely to be included in his report. However, he clearly did not see the incident otherwise he would have punished it at the time, after all it isn’t like he couldn’t find his whistle, is it?
The fracas marks the latest in a string of incidents between the two clubs who have built up quite a fractious relationship from our six-year spell in the National League. Last season both Mark Cooper and Dale Vince were highly critical of our methods and style, this after Vince had tried to lure Danny and Nicky to Forest Green the year before. On their promotion winning afternoon Cooper took time out from celebrating to lash out at our style of play, only to adopt a far cruder and less effective long-ball style himself recently.
Collins has been at Chelsea since the age of 11, having come through an elite training camp to join up with their squad. He’s represented England and U16 level, this is his first spell in the professional game.