Player sent off for tackling pitch invader
Dorchester Town's player-manager Ashley Vickers has expressed his dismay at being sent off for tackling a semi-naked pitch invader.
Vickers, 39, brought down streaker Alan Young in his side's 3-1 defeat at Havant & Waterlooville on Monday night, only to be given his marching orders by the referee.
Vickers told the Dorset Echo: "I'm dumbfounded and speechless. I thought I was doing them a favour. The ref lost the game after that and he knew he had made a great error.
"It beggars belief," he added. "Their players told the ref not to send me off and their chairman even offered to take a player off to even things up. In hindsight I perhaps shouldn't have done it but hindsight is a wonderful thing. I'm sure people will crucify me for this but I have broad shoulders."
Young, a Havant & Waterlooville fan, admitted he ran onto the pitch for a bet, telling BBC Radio Solent: "It was only a bit of a joke, we all agreed at my local pub on Sunday I'd do it as a bet. The security there were too slow but Vickers caught me quite well. He should be a rugby player.
"He hit me quite hard so by the time I had got up I didn't know where I was on the pitch because I hadn't expected the tackle. The security did ask me afterwards if I was okay but to be honest I enjoyed myself so much I didn't really care what happened at the time."
Havant boss Shaun Gayle told BBC Radio Solent: "The person I feel sorry for is Ashley Vickers, all he tried to do was deal with it and the referee has sent him off. If he had just grabbed him and held onto the lad then the ref might not have sent him off. He [Vickers] was obviously wound up with the situation, his side had just conceded a goal.
"That's the thing that goes against him a little bit, but that's up to the powers that be and of course we'll do everything we can to help him."
Dorchester have yet to appeal against Vickers' ban.