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Russell Martin condemns ‘carnage’ of Swansea-Preston brawl

19 Apr 2023 3 minute read
Swansea City manager Russell Martin Photo Photo David Davies. PA Images

Swansea head coach Russell Martin has described the mass brawl that broke out near the end of his team’s 4-2 win over Preston in the Championship as “carnage”.

At least 30 people – including players, substitutes and coaches from both clubs – were involved in the ugly scenes that erupted near the end of the match when the Swans were leading 3-2.

Punches appeared to be thrown and there was angry shoving and pushing near the two technical areas.

After a five minute delay, referee Oliver Langford showed straight cards to Preston manager Ryan Lowe and Swansea midfielder Joe Allen.

When the game restarted, Joel Piroe scored his second goal of the game to dent Preston’s play-off hopes.

Lowe and Preston refused to attend the scheduled post-match press conference but Swansea boss Martin suggested the trouble was sparked by his opponent.

Martin said: “Ryan pushes Joe and all chaos ensues. The game should be stopped, but it isn’t.

“Ryan pushes Joe and after that it’s carnage. If that doesn’t happen I don’t think any of it happens.

“I am not sure he (Lowe) will come in for a drink. I think he has done a great job there, as he did at Plymouth, so I am not going to judge him on that action because it’s a pressured environment.

“It’s so different, it’s so difficult – it is what it is.”


The trouble started after Swansea substitute Jay Fulton went down injured and the referee did not stop play.

Words were exchanged on the touchline and Allen, who had been substituted, confronted Lowe in front of the visitors’ technical area before the Preston manager appeared to shove the 33-year-old in the chest.

Both Lowe and Martin – who have both previously been shown red cards earlier in the season – were involved as the benches emptied and players and coaches ran to get involved.

Martin added: “I’ve watched it back. I don’t think it’s pretty for anyone.

“Our job as a group of staff is to get players away from it. The situation could have been avoided, twice probably. It is what it is.

“When people are so passionate and care about what they’re doing, sometimes it boils over. I don’t judge anyone for that, but it is a disappointing thing to happen.

“The game probably should have been stopped, Jay Fulton takes a head injury. It can be avoided.”

Swansea led 3-0 at half-time through goals from Piroe, Allen and Harry Darling.

Thomas Cannon and Troy Parrott dragged Preston back into the contest but, after the late drama, Piroe made the game safe in stoppage time.

Defeat left Preston in 11th, two points off the play-off places with three games to play.

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