JUNEE soccer supporters are reputed as the most spirited followers in the local league, creating a home ground environment that has both entertained and intimidated rival teams.
On Sunday the banter at Burns Park went too far according to Lake Albert coach Anthony Gardiner.
A fight broke out after a rough challenge on the field, and two opposing players were sent off on striking charges.
A Junee player and spectator made alleged threats against the offending Lake Albert player, Andy Helmboldt, while on the sideline.
“It’s frustrating and disappointing that you go to an opposition club’s home ground and feel threatened,” Gardiner said.
“Our spectators [felt threatened] as well.”
While Gardiner was on the field at the time and not within earshot of the interchange, he will stand by his club’s written complaint to Football Wagga.
Junee have come under fire this season for playing a physical brand of soccer resulting in injuries.
“It’s a common occurrence,” Gardiner said.
“I know that Henwood Park has experienced it, we have as well.”
Another player was added to Lake Albert’s injury ward on Sunday.
Helmboldt faces a minimum four weeks’ suspension, and Lake Albert’s Duncan Brodie will sit out of the next clash, handed two yellow cards for minor incidents on Sunday.
Gardiner commended the referee for his decisions throughout the match, and his team for playing with determination in the 3-1 loss.
“We rallied in midfield and defence, and pressured them upfront,” he said.
Lake Albert will present a depleted team for the upcoming match against Henwood Park on Tuesday night.
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