Woking manager Alan Dowson has appealed to the club’s supporters to refrain from the sort of incidents which marred their opening match of the season.
The Cards won 1-0 at home to East Thurrock United on Saturday, with the club later releasing a statement which said ‘we would highlight in the strongest terms that the possession of flares/smoke bombs and entering the field of play during matches are criminal offences and perpetrators face a lengthy ban from football grounds, being charged, gaining a criminal record and recent offenders have gone to prison.’
Now boss Dowson, who took over at the National League South newcomers this summer, has made his own appeal to the club’s supporters. He said in a video posted by the club:
“Saturday was one of the biggest days at the club, for me personally; for the last ten years I’ve always wanted to be manager of this football club. To win a game was great, but it got spoiled by flares coming on the pitch, people running on the pitch and things getting thrown on the pitch.
“I just want to make an appeal really for that not to happen. I’m trying to build a club for the community, where kids are coming along.
“We’re trying to build a club to make us strong. What happened on Saturday, one, we’re going to get a fine, which, when you’re doing things like running 50 laps round the pitch to raise money, that hurts you.
“We could get up to a £500 fine; the next thing would be points deductions. The next thing after that is people won’t come.
“95 percent of fans who supported us were absolutely fantastic and during a difficult first half stuck by us, but that stupidity at the end, we can’t have that at the football club. I refuse to have it, to be honest, it’s ridiculous.
“One little thing I’ve got to remember from last season, for example, when I was manager of Hampton & Richmond in the (play-off) final, we scored a goal, and it got delayed two minutes by someone throwing a flare on the pitch. They then scored in the 47th minute; extra-time in the first half.
“I know it’s a little thing but it’s very important. I’m dying to get the local kids involved, I’m dying to get the people from a local pub involved, but what I saw on Saturday, it spoiled the whole day for me.”