Ben Garner: Swindon Town boss says players ‘physically and verbally abused’ after Port Vale defeat

Swindon Town manager Ben Garner and his players were surrounded on the pitch following the penalty shootout defeat by Port Vale

Swindon Town manager Ben Garner said his players had been “physically and verbally abused” after their League Two play-off semi-final defeat by Port Vale

Vale fans swarmed onto the pitch after the last penalty and television footage appeared to show some in an altercation with Swindon players.

“There was physical abuse out there, there was verbal abuse,” said Garner.

He told BBC Radio Wiltshire: “I’m very proud of the players for the strength they’ve just shown. There’s a lad with a cut on his nose, there’s been all sorts of abuse.

“I just don’t understand it, I just don’t know where this is coming from. I’ve seen it in some of the other games recently. Disgusting. It’s disgusting.”

Garner said action needed to be taken by the football authorities, following a series of incidents.

A man was jailed on Thursday for headbutting Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp at the end of the Blades’ Championship play-off semi-final defeat by Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira was involved in an altercation with a supporter during a pitch invasion following the club’s dramatic Premier League defeat at Everton.

The Frenchman appeared to kick out at the fan before being ushered a way by other supporters after Everton came back to win and retain their top-flight status.

“That is dangerous, that is so dangerous. Players have been hit, players have been kicked, players have been spat at, players have been verbally abused,” Garner added.

“It’s just not on. Fans think they can come on and they can have a free hit and a free pop and no one player can react to it. If you did that on the street you’d end up in a tear up.

“But I’m really proud of how they responded and the class that they have showed, as they have done all season.”

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