Hashtag United founder says player ‘could have been blinded’ by firework

The founder of a football club in Essex has said a firework which exploded near one of his team’s players could have “blinded” them.

The incident occurred as Hashtag United’s reserve team took on Concord Rangers reserves on November 5 at the Len Salmon Stadium in Basildon.

The Essex Senior League Reserve Division game was abandoned after the firework exploded around player Matas Skrna’s legs.

“Matas has just been hit by a firework,” the commentator exclaimed.

“We expect fireworks whenever @hashtagutd play but not like this!” the club’s Twitter account tweeted.

“Our player, Matas Skrna, is luckily ok but this could have been bad!”

A club spokesperson said that a volunteer had gone to a nearby house and asked if they could halt their fireworks.

They said the household carried on with their display which led to the match being abandoned, after which the fireworks stopped.

Hashtag United is a football and esports club in Essex which was formed in 2016 by presenter and social media personality Spencer Owen.

The club has a men’s team that plays in the eighth tier and a women’s team which plays in the fourth tier – more than 500,000 people subscribe to the club’s YouTube account.

Mr Owen tweeted after the incident that Mr Skrna could have suffered serious injury as a result of the incident.

“Yet another reason to add to the list of reasons to sack off fireworks,” he tweeted.

“Dog owners know exactly what I’m saying. Glad Matas is ok.

“A few inches different and our lad could have been blinded. Not the only football game something like this happened at last night either.”

The club tweeted that the police had been notified. Essex Police has been contacted by the PA news agency for details.