By Riccardo Dotolo Photo: Getty Images
Chester FC condemned fans who attacked rival supporters following the team’s 1-0 loss in the National League North play-off semi-final last Sunday.
The match against Brackley Town, saw a record attendance for the season of 4,479 fans at the Deva stadium.
Chester supporters threw smoke bombs and other projectiles at the visiting fans and also tried to access the away end to confront them further.
The violence resulted in a five-year-old Brackley fan ending up with a head injury and Chester fans were seen damaging the Brackley team’s and fans’ coaches.
Chief Inspector Jez Taylor, of Cheshire Police said: “While the majority of the fans behaved, there were a small minority who were intent on causing disorder and their behaviour at the end of the match was totally unacceptable.”
He added: “An investigation into the disorder has been launched and we will be taking robust action against all those found to be involved, including possible banning orders.”
In his post-match interview, Brackley’s Manager Gareth Dean referred to the scenes after the final whistle and said: “I think it’s an absolute disgrace to have players not able to enjoy the moment with their fans… to have children petrified for their safety.”
Brackley Town FC said that it would welcome the police investigation and is urging any supporters who were caught up in the incident to come forward as witnesses. The FA will also be investigating.
In a statement, Chester FC apologised to Brackley Town and added: ” Our club is ashamed to be associated with anyone involved in the crowd disorder and angry that the actions of a minority have completely overshadowed the occasion.
“Such behaviour not only tarnishes our reputation but also has a financial cost and places the football club at risk of fines, points deductions or playing behind closed doors.
“The impact is also felt by our staff, volunteers and the players and managment, who ere prevented from returning to the pitch to thank genuine fans for their support this season.
“We have extensive CCTV footage which will be shared with the authorities and will work with Cheshire Police to ensure the perpetrators are identified and face the strongest action.”
This is not the first time that hooliganism associated with Chester fans has occurred this season. At last month’s Good Friday fixture against Chorley, a steward was assaulted and a fan required emergency medical treatment.
Today, Brackley Town FC were keen to point out it has received many phone calls and messages from Chester FC supporters,apologising for the scenes that occurred after the final whistle and wished them luck for the upcoming play-off final against Kidderminster Harriers this Sunday.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Cheshire Police on 101, or visit www.cheshire.police.uk/tellus, quoting IML 1539302.