Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Police defend United tactics

Police in Chorley have defended their tactics during Saturday's match against FC United of Manchester.

Some FC United supporters contacted the Guardian to complain about the 'heavy-handed' response to their request to watch the second half of the match from the Pilling Lane end at Chorley Nissan Victory Park.

For the first 10 minutes of the second half, visiting fans had to watch the game from the corner of the ground, rather than from behind the goal, and were flanked by a line of police and stewards.

Eventually the police relented and the game - which was attended by a bumper crowd of 1,700 - passed off without major incident.

One FC United fan said: "It happens a lot where FC United is concerned because we bring quite a big following.

"We've been to Victory Park twice before and there's never been any trouble, even through the crowds were bigger than the one on Saturday."

Insp Kevin Otter, of Lancashire Constabulary, said: "The policing operation for the football match went according to plan, no arrests were made and after safety issues were addressed, police accommodated an unusual request by fans to move to the opposite end of the ground for the second half of the match."

Insp Ian Roberts, of Chorley police, who was on duty on match day, added: "There was no trouble and there were around 1,700 high spirited fans and many of those took the opportunity to have a drink in the town centre after the match without incident."

Last Updated: 02 October 2007 4:46 PM