Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dons Defender: I've Never Been Whacked So Hard

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dons Defender: I've Never Been Whacked So Hard

Article excerpt

Byline: LEO SPALL

WIMBLEDON defender Mark Williams today gave his account of the clash which led to ugly scenes in their FA Cup fourth-round replay triumph over Middles-brough.

Williams claimed Middlesbrough's Ugo Ehiogu punched him in the face with more force than he had ever felt before.

The Dons won 3-1 at Selhurst Park last night after Ehiogu was sent off six minutes into extra-time for violent conduct.

The clash came as players were waiting for Paul Ince to take a free-kick.

Williams then collapsed to the floor and he required prolonged treatment while skirmishes broke out around him as angry Wimbledon players approached Ehiogu.

Middlesbrough coach Terry Venables said his players confirmed a punch had been thrown and Wimbledon manager Terry Burton suggested there should have been a boxing promoter at the game.

Williams, who finished the game with bruising and a cut at the top of his nose, said: "I don't think I've taken a whack like that before. I've had a few elbows but Ehiogu just turned around and hit me straight, full-blown in the face.

"I was just picking him up from corners and for set-pieces. He is a big lad and there were a few elbows flying around. Then he turned around and punched me.

"People were trying to block each other and if he had blocked me I would not have dreamed of punching him. But he lost his head. You can't go around punching people and it was lucky the officials saw it and he got sent off.

"Fortunately, my nose has been broken about five times before so he hasn't done any more damage."

The teams drew 0-0 at the Riverside Stadium last week and the alleged punch came within two minutes of Wimbledon taking the lead for the first time in the tie from a penalty conceded by Ehiogu.

He was judged to have pulled back Jason Euell for that kick to be awarded and he had just seen the Wimbledon striker put his team ahead from close range when his frustration appeared to boil over. …

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