Hastings to investigate crowd disorder

Hastings United have vowed to ban any supporters they find guilty of disorder.
Hastings United have vowed to ban any supporters they find guilty of disorder.
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Hastings United Football Club said it will investigate the crowd disorder which marred the Boxing Day derby away to Lewes yesterday.

Police were called to The Dripping Pan after three explosives were thrown onto the pitch - one at half time and two during the second half.

A skirmish also broke out in the stand at half time, and Lewes claimed two Hastings supporters were abusing the home bench in the first half and when asked to move, then started abusing the home fans.

Hastings director Dave Nessling, who walked round to the area where the explosives were thrown from during the second half, said: “We are investigating. We have our own video of the game and if we can identify any of them (the offenders), they will be issued immediate bans.

“Many of them (the people Nessling saw in the area where the explosives were thrown from) we don’t see at The Pilot Field; I didn’t recognise anyone. A lot of them had too much to drink, they had obviously been in Lewes drinking before the game.

“We were told by a lot of the Lewes stewards that as far as they were concerned, they didn’t think they (the offenders) were regular, week-to-week Hastings supporters.”

It was the second successive season that the fixture had been hit by unruly behaviour. Explosives were also thrown at last Easter’s match when there was trouble in Lewes itself and at the town’s railway station.

Lewes say they doubled their stewarding for yesterday’s match and removed alcohol from a few supporters on entry to the ground.

“This is the second year running it’s occurred at Lewes and I just don’t know what we can do to stop it,” Nessling continued. “We’re not getting any issues at The Pilot Field.

“Lewes told us they did what they could and their stewards were very good on the day. We will only hear any further about it if it’s included in the referee’s report.”