Beckford anger after fans clash with player


Mossley manager Jason Beckford is considering his future after an attack on one of his players following Saturday's home defeat by Marine.

Beckford had to intervene in the car park at Seel Park after midfield player Melford Knight became involved in an altercation with two fans.

Lilywhites director Peggy Rigby spoke of her “devastation” and made a scathing attack on the perpetrators.

Beckford, who came to Knight's aid and was forced to pin one of the fans to the ground, said: “I have been involved in football, both professionally and non-league, for 20 years and have never been involved in any incident with a fan.

“It is a sad day as far as I am concerned and it has made me wonder whether it is worth carrying on.”

Knight had been the target for abuse throughout the match and was confronted in the social club after the game by supporters.

It continued outside when Beckford intervened as things became ugly as two fans confronted Knight.

Beckford said: “Melford is a credit to himself and to his family the way he conducts himself.

“What happened to Melford was out of order and, as manager, I will protect my players.

“We aren't doing well at the moment but at least Melford and the other players are giving me honest effort.”

Mrs Rigby's family has helped transform Mossley over the last 10 years after the club was in danger of folding when they took over.

She said: “What happened was terrible and we are devastated. We are disappointed that things are not going well, but we are all doing our best to turn things around.

“We have put a lot of money into the club but, when something like this happens, you wonder whether it is worth it.

“We have won two promotions in the last three years but, with things not going well at the moment, we need the backing of fans instead of them kicking off.

“How do they expect the team to do well and concentrate when the players are being continually abused?

“If these fans don't like it, why do they still come? We could do without them when they throw things back into your face like this.”

Meanwhile, Beckford is hoping his team can triumph in the face of adversity in tonight's Unibond League premier division basement battle against Leek Town at Seel Park.

The Lilywhites are second bottom, four points behind fourth-bottom Leek and 11 adrift of Kendal who occupy the last safe place.

The Lilywhites will probably need to win six of their last 11 games to stand any chance of staying up.