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Inquiry after trouble flares at Dunston UTS versus Darlington football match
LEAGUE officials say they are determined to ensure that disorder at a non-league football game at the weekend is not repeated.
Clubhouse toilets were vandalised and a fight took place at the Dunston UTS versus Darlington game on Saturday.
A 45-year-old man from the Darlington area was arrested and issued with a fixed penalty notice for disorderly conduct following the game.
Northern League officials have asked both clubs to file reports on the trouble at Dunston’s ground in Wellington Road, Dunston, Gateshead.
League chairman Mike Amos said advice would be given and action taken if necessary, once the facts had been established.
He added: “There were a few people at the match who seemed intent on causing trouble.
“Until Saturday, the Darlington experience of the Northern League has been notably excellent.
“What we must not do is let a tiny minority spoil it in any way for everybody else.
“Hopefully, it will not happen again and we are working very hard to make sure that is the case.”
Mr Amos reiterated that blame for the disorder had not yet been established but he said one line of inquiry being investigated was that those responsible were Darlington fans issued with banning orders for previous football-related disorder.
About 30 Quakers fans are subject to banning orders, but they are not enforceable in the Northern League.
Malcolm James, Dunston chairman, said the trouble was not serious.
He added: “There was damage to toilets but you can’t point the finger at anyone in particular.
“There were lots of people in the clubhouse and lots of people in the ground. Some people were aggressive towards the staff but you can’t blame Darlington for a few mindless people who have latched on.”
Mr James said two fans who goaded other spectators during the game were assaulted by a Dunston fan who appeared to take exception to their behaviour.
“The police were called and it was nipped in the bud,” he added.
The Northern Echo has been unable to substantiate claims that two people needed medical treatment following the match.
Laura Drew, Darlington FC 1883 board member, said: “We take these allegations seriously and are conducting an investigation into them.
“When the facts are known, we will act accordingly and learn from this incident.”
A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “We got a call at about 4.45pm to reports of an incident. A 45- year-old male was issued with a fixed penalty notice for disorderly conduct.
“The man was from the Darlington area.”