Source: The Sentinel
09:40 - 22 October 2006
Dozens of police officers descended on a tiny non-league football ground after trouble flared during an afternoon match.The Staffordshire police helicopter was scrambled during the operation at yesterday's game between Newcastle Town and Manchester side FC United.
But eye-witnesses at the Lyme Valley ground pinned the blame for the incident on organised hooligans unconnected with either club.
Some fans, including families with young children, left the ground before full-time in disgust at the behaviour.
Police maintained a heavy presence on the gates, but there were no reports of any arrests of injuries.
Supporters inside the small stadium said they were aware of shouting and bottles being thrown towards the Newcastle fans by a group of up to 40 people who had crossed the neighbouring rugby club pitch to reach the ground.
But fans and officials stressed the disturbance did not spread to the ground itself.
Newcastle club secretary Ray Tatton said: "Nothing happened inside the ground, it was all happening outside.
"It was nothing to do with the FC United fans. They were excellent and we would welcome them back any time."
A police spokesman at the match confirmed that extra officers had been requested, and said: "We don't know yet who was involved, or where they were from, so it wouldn't be appropriate to comment."
A spokesman for Staffordshire Ambulance Service said an ambulance was requested, but that it was in response to a medical emergency.
Newcastle councillor Andy Fear was among the home supporters who witnessed the trouble.
He said: "I saw bottles and things being thrown over by a group of people who had got around the back, but the police soon chased them off."