Lancaster City Football Club has vowed to ban troublemakers for life after violence halted the Dolly Blues’ Boxing Day match.
Two arrests were made after crowd trouble caused City’s game with Kendal Town to be stopped for 20 minutes in the second-half.
Three men suffered minor facial injuries during the match at Kendal’s Pye Motors Stadium.
An eye-witness who was at the game said: “It was chaos. It all kicked off in the stand and some Kendal players ran over to calm things down. Then the Lancaster goalkeeper and players ran over to try to sort things out too.”
A Lancaster City spokesman said in a post on the club Facebook page: “It’s sad that it has had to come to this. Very sad.
“No one who loves the club would have let our reputation be ruined like it was yesterday.
“We don’t want people like that involved in our football community. Fighting, vile chanting, pitch invasions, fireworks, goading and verbal abuse of opposition fans and volunteers, none of this has any place in football, but especially in non-league football.
“Lifetime bans from Lancaster City FC will be handed out accordingly as we cannot afford to receive more fines and we are in threat of points deductions.
“We have sounded warnings time after time and enough is enough.
“No ifs, no buts. We have a reputation to rebuild and it starts by getting rid of those who had no interest of keeping it in the first place.”
Phil Brown, Lancaster City manager, said: “It was a minority of fans, people I should say, who came on the day.
“We don’t want that sort of behaviour anywhere near our club.
“We’ve always welcomed everyone and are trying to get more families down and we’ve got a thriving junior section.
“Rightly so the chairman and directors have said these people will be banned and I would urge people not to think too badly of Lancaster City because of what has happened.
“It isn’t something I recognise about a club I’ve been involved with for a long time.
“The club will take action and hopefully the authorities can deal with those involved too.”
Cumbria Police said the arrested men were being held on suspicion of assault.
The Evo-Stik First Division North game restarted and finished 1-0 to Kendal.
A Cumbria Police spokesman said the coach carrying Lancaster City supporters was escorted out of the county by police to ensure no further disorder.
We contacted Lancaster City Football Club for further comment but nobody was available as we went to press. Kendal Town was also unavailable for comment.
Meanwhile a Gateshead football fan said a group of Lancaster fans he met in Kendal over the weekend were “a credit to the club”.
Steve Wales, posting on the City Facebook page, said: “We met some of your fans in Kendal on our trip to Barrow. Had a chat over a few beers and were a credit to your club. Around about 30 of them, all good lads.”
Photo by Richard Edmondson.