Yobs storm pitch during semi-final match

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YOBS halted a football match in Barnsley when they ran onto the pitch and began attacking players.

They struck during a game played at Grimethorpe Miners’ Welfare Ground on Tuesday, when North Gawber and Athersley Rec were playing a Challenge Cup semi-final.

Spectators said one yob ran onto the pitch with a fishing net and tried to ‘hook’ the North Gawber goalkeeper before running off and returning with a gang which stormed the pitch before yobs began brawling with players.

An off-duty police officer who was the fourth official for the game called for back up, but when officers arrived the yobs had already fled.

Athersley Rec manager Pete Goodlad said: “We could see there was going to be some trouble.

“The lad with the fishing net went back on and he had the goalie got to blows and the others joined in.

“The gang were throwing bottles and cans and a Gawber player got a cut on his head when someone threw a bike.”

He said other players suffered cuts and bruises.

Mr Goodlad said: “It would have been very frightening to a lot of people, lots of women and children were there. It’s lucky no one was seriously hurt.

“It’s absolutely disgusting - they were nothing to do with the game.”

The match was postponed for 10 minutes until calm was restored and police supervised the final few minutes.

Players and members of the public were asked to give witness statements at the end of the game.

Roy Parden, secretary of the Barnsley and District Sunday League, said: “It was pretty nasty. It’s sad.”

The second semi-final due to have been played at the same ground will now be played elsewhere.

Cawthorne will play New Lodge on Wednesday, April 11, at Athersley Rec.