Kevin Bolam reveals what really happened between these two players in the Hebburn Town dressing room at half-time following feisty clash
Hebburn Town manager Kevin Bolam has played down talk of a rumoured physical altercation between two of his players at half-time in their 3-1 defeat at Northern League title rivals Stockton Town.
The two sides were level at the interval after Hornets midfielder Michael Richardson had cancelled out an opening goal from hosts captain Adam Nicholson.
But the former Newcastle United player was involved in a vociferous vocal exchange with another former Magpies youngster Jack Robson.
The heated exchange seemed to come from the latter’s frustration at Richardson failing to pass the ball to him as he stood unmarked in his right-wing position.
Robson voiced his annoyance as play moved on – and the exchange continued as the two sides made their way to the dressing rooms at half-time.
There was speculation around the Coverall Stadium that the two Hornets team-mates had become involved in a physical confrontation and that the local police had been called to get involved.
But Bolam explained that the exchange went no further than a heated discussion between two “passionate players”.
He told The Gazette: “There was a heated exchange on the pitch – which you see every other week.
“If you don’t see that, then you aren’t seeing passionate players playing non-league football.
“There were words in the changing-room at half-time and that was it done.
“I think, if we had come off here with a draw or a win, would people want to be knowing about a little exchange between two players.
“It’s one of them – people will think it might have had an impact on the game.
“Players have had an exchange and that is it.
“You ask other clubs in the Northern League and this happens in all changing rooms.
“I haven’t got a problem with it because the players care, they are passionate, and they realise it was a big game.
“They are best of pals again now.”
Former Newcastle United academy winger Robson was replaced at the interval as Bolam sent on Olly Martin for the start of the second-half.
The Hornets manager explained that he had spoken to the young winger at half-time and the decision to end Robson’s involvement in the game was made between them.
When asked if the substitute and the incident had an impact on the second-half performance that saw the Hornets fall to a 3-1 defeat, Bolam said: “Yes and no, but I think it would be a little bit disrespectful towards Stockton Town to say that.
“I had a chat with Jack in the changing room and it was in his hands.
“I said ‘Do you feel right? I will tell you now if you want to go and play, I don’t want to let it affect you.
“He just didn’t feel in the right frame of mind.
“But I have spoken to him since then and after the decision to make the change in the dressing room and the kid is fine.”