Chairman Shahid Azeem has revealed Aldershot Town have requested a meeting with the Surrey Safety Advisory Group following concerns about the way Shots supporters were treated by local rivals Woking on New Year’s Day.
Representatives of Aldershot Town and Woking will meet with the Surrey Safety Advisory Group, who help enforce the Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987, next week with Azeem unhappy with both how the away fans were dealt with in the derby match on January 1 and subsequent apportioning of blame by Woking officials. While things went well for the Hampshire club on the field, with the Shots winning 2-1 thanks to a brace by Scott Rendell, the National League fixture was marred by crowd trouble at Woking’s Laithwaite Community Stadium.
There were continued tannoy announcements during the game calling for Aldershot fans in the terrace to stay behind the safety barriers but witnesses said there were too many supporters in the stand to safely do so.
The stand where the majority of the Aldershot fans were housed, known as the Chris Lane Terrace, is thought to have a capacity of well over 1,000 but, including a section of seated fans in the main stand, the Shots were reported as only having 1,085 supporters present. Shots fans have subsequently contacted the News & Mail claiming there were far more visiting supporters at the local derby that the official figure.
The crowd problems were exacerbated in the second half when, after Rendell put Aldershot 2-1 up, the barrier between visiting fans and the pitch gave way during celebrations. There were also claims of objects being thrown at the away supporters from the home terrace behind the goal.
And Shots chairman Azeem believes the Hampshire club’s fans were unfairly blamed for the trouble.
“We weren’t happy with what happened and so our safety director has a meeting with the Surrey Safety Advisory Group and Woking Football Club planned for January 22,” he explained.
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