CITY chiefs have welcomed the heartfelt apologies from Walsall Wood FC after Blue and Whites boss Ash Vincent was racially abused during Saturday’s Midland Premier Division clash.
Vincent was City’s second victim of racist abuse this year when he was targeted by a group of 30 or so youths during and at the end of the 2-2 draw at Oak Park.
Furious Wood bosses have vowed to ban the perpetrators for life and chairman Justin Hodgin apologised to Vincent and City officials after the game.
“The club has been trying to engage with these local youths by actively inviting them in the club, so they are not wandering the streets, as all local activities for them are currently not available,” he said
“We believe the actions of a few are now ruining it for the rest of them.”
Hodgin said, together with West Midlands Police, he would be attending the schools to educate the teenagers in a bid to stamp out the problem.
“The club hope with the education we can deal with this problem without any more incidents but we will take the strongest action possible if this is ignored,” he added.
In response, City condemned the actions of the individuals and said: “It is a desperate reflection of the world once again that a football club has to state racism has no place in our society nor in the game we all love.
“Any individual who thinks it does, has no place in our game. We would like to place on record our thanks to Walsall Wood FC for its professionalism and tact in handling the matter.”
On the field, City earned a point after an intense second half which could have gone either way.
City got off to a bad start and conceded after six minutes when Javia Roberts crossed from the left for Jazz Luckie to convert.
After the break, City finally drew level after a long throw-in from Luke English was glanced home by skipper Craig Jones.
Vincent’s men were handed the opportunity to take the lead when Andy Nicol was felled in the box. However, Dave Reynolds saw his penalty saved and the resulting counter-attack saw Wood sweep up the pitch and Romario Martin hand the hosts what they thought was all three points.
Deep into injury time, caused by a break for an injury to the referee, Reynolds drew the sides level after Dan Jezeph’s long ball forward was too good for the defenders and the hot-shot poked it home for a share of the spoils.
City face Coventry Sphinx on Wednesday (October 14) before hitting the road again on Saturday (October 17) to face Gresley Rovers.