Accrington boss furious after goalkeeper sent off for throwing bottle back into crowd of Blackpool fans

Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman issued a furious response after his goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov was sent off for throwing a bottle back into the crowd in last night's 2-1 defeat to Blackpool.

Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 9:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 10:27 am
Accrington keeper Dimitar Evtimov jokingly pretends to drink from the cup prior to his sending off
Accrington keeper Dimitar Evtimov jokingly pretends to drink from the cup prior to his sending off

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Jay Spearing had converted an 81st-minute penalty to win the game for the Seasiders in front of the 1,800 Blackpool fans, most of which were housed in the terrace behind the goal.

As the players made their way back to their own half following the celebrations, Evtimov flung a beer bottle into the crowd and was subsequently shown a straight red by referee Ross Joyce.

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Accrington boss John Coleman, who was also booked along with Pool assistant Gary Brabin for a touchline altercation, believes the incident will "encourage criminality".

“They were magnificent, the Blackpool fans, they really got behind their team. It must be great to lift the shackles off,” Coleman said.

“But to do what they did, to throw a bottle at our keeper and for them to win because of that, that encourages criminality.

“There’s no place for that in football. The fact is now is that if you’re a fan that doesn’t care about morals, you can think you can make a great attempt to get their team to win the game by throwing a bottle because if the goalkeeper throws it back he’s immediately sent off.

“He doesn’t throw it back violently, he loops it back into the crowd. He gets sent off and they win.

“If the bottle doesn’t get thrown, we finish the game with 11 men and who knows what happens. But the game was over as a contest after that.

“That’s wrong in every way, shape or form. If it’s thrown back violently I’d understand, but the FA have got to step in here because you’re encouraging fans to look for a reaction. That can’t be right. But they’re the rules we have to play by.

“It spoiled a very good night and a cracking game. It was end-to-end.

“But the referee spoils it by wanting to flex his muscles. He also books me and their coach for arguing with each other, not the referee. It wasn’t violent.

“I saw their big centre forward go down, elbowing people, kicking people and undermining the referee from the first whistle to the last. He didn’t even get a yellow card.

“The referee didn’t see the bottle thrown, he’s sent him off on the advice of the linesman. I think the referee has got to show a bit of common sense there.

“He’s not trying to endanger anybody, otherwise he’d have thrown it overarm, not underarm. So the rule has got to be changed, otherwise you’re going to get more and more of these incidents.

“Don’t forget, you’re talking about a set of fans who have tried to abandon games, so where do you draw the line?”