STEVENAGE have been hit with a £5,000 fine by the FA after their fans were found guilty of aiming sexist abuse at a female linesman during a game against Bury.

The incident occurred during the Shakers’ 1-0 victory at the Lamex Stadium, where Nicky Maynard pounced five minutes into stoppage time to secure three points for Ryan Lowe’s promotion-chasing side.

The FA report claims “around 75 to 100 fans” were involved in three separate chants aimed towards Lisa Rashid, who had initially been the fourth official but who stepped in as a referee’s assistant in the 18th minute of the game.

They say language aimed at Rashid was: “Extremely offensive, both blatantly sexist and in vulgar indecent language”

Stevenage, who had also been ordered to pay £2,000 costs, promoted the match as the club’s “Women in Football” game.

The Hertfordshire club have also been ordered to implement a 15-point action plan - though the FA concluded they were not at fault for the behaviour, or the way it was dealt with on the day. Stevenage has also issued a statement condemning fans’ behaviour.

“We will impose significant bans on any supporters found guilty of such behaviour,” said chairman Phil Wallace.

“Financial penalties really hurt small clubs like ourselves and this is a real blow to us as we fight financially to build a winning team.”

Stevenage breached Football Association rule E20, which states “the club had failed to ensure that its spectators, and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers, conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refrained from using abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference, whether express or implied to gender, whilst attending a match in which it was involved”.