East Thurrock United set record straight on "assault on referee" allegation

FURTHER to comments put out on social media by Farnborough FC last evening East Thurrock United would like to clarify the situation regarding the dismissal of Lewis Smith in last night’s match.

"After the game concluded referee John O’Brien called ETU secretary Neil Speight to his changing room to inform him of events as he saw them. The referee confirmed that Lewis – and Farnborough’s Josh Gallagher – were dismissed for a confrontation when the two players tangled.

The red card for Lewis related to that incident alone.

Both players initially set off for the dressing room but in the exchange that followed a number of players became embroiled further, including Lewis who approached the referee.

In the scramble around the referee, Mr O’Brien said Lewis made physical contact with him and his hand came off the referee’s body and caught Mr O’Brien on the face. Mr O’Brien was at pains to express the point that he did not think the facial contact was deliberate or an aggressive act but nevertheless he felt that as contact had been made he was duty bound to record the fact in his report.

It will now be a matter for the FA.

Mr O’Brien certainly did not suggest that he had been ‘slapped’ by Lewis, as suggested on Farnborough’s official website and ETU are disappointed that a club would make such an unsubstantiated statement;

@FarnboroughFC "CORRECTION: The #FarnboroughFC players are reporting that @1EastThurrockFC’s Lewis Smith was sent off for slapping the Referee in the face."

We are sure the FA will seek to investigate the situation and until such time as they make a report there will be no further comment on the matter by our club.

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