FIVE Doncaster Rovers supporters have been slapped with bans after violent clashes at an away game.
The club have moved quickly to kick out the five who were involved in a brawl at last Saturday’s League One encounter at Hartlepool United.
In a statement issued yesterday, Rovers announced “lengthy” bans for a group of supporters who began fighting among themselves after a hotly-disputed penalty was awarded to the home side.
It said: “Doncaster Rovers Football Club has acted swiftly in imposing lengthy bans on a number of individuals who were involved in disorderly behaviour at the recent match at Hartlepool.
“In total, five individuals have been served lengthy bans, and Doncaster Rovers will not hesitate to take action against any individual involved in abusive or aggressive behaviour when attending matches involving the club.
“Club officials are determined to create a welcoming atmosphere which encourages supporters to attend matches in the knowledge that they can enjoy a match in safe and enjoyable surroundings.
“The club will not hesitate to take appropriate action against any individual who is found to display behaviour of a nature which brings discredit to the club and its many loyal supporters.”
Four fans were arrested at Hartlepool’s Victoria Park stadium after police and stewards moved in when tempers flared after referee Graham Scott awarded a penalty to the hosts 20 minutes from time.
Violence erupted and Rovers fans fought among themselves following the penalty, later described by Rovers boss Dean Saunders as ‘dodgy’ and which put United 1-0 up.
One supporter who witnessed the brawl, but refused to be named, said: “It was mayhem.
“These young lads were having a go at each other and next thing, the police and stewards were dragging people out.”
Reacting to the news on the club’s official Facebook page, the majority of supporters backed the ban.
Alan Chalky Chambers posted: “Ban them from every ground in the country. Disgusting thugs,” while Ian Ashman said: “Bringing shame on our club - too right they should be banned. You go to watch the beautiful game, not to be a hooligan.”
Ryan Dutton of Hexthorpe said: “I have only been to one game this season and have never seen any trouble but there’s no need for it. It sets a bad example for kids.”
Tom Collier of Dunscroft said: “A lot of kids these days seem more interested in having a scrap than watching the football. I didn’t know there had been trouble at Hartlepool but that kind of thing shouldn’t happen when you go to a match so the club do right in kicking them out.”
No Hartlepool fans were involved in the clashes during the game which finished 1-1. Cleveland Police said there were no reports of further violence before, during or after the game.
Two 17-year-olds, a 19-year-old and a 22-year-old were all arrested on suspicion of affray and taken into custody at Hartlepool Police Station.
They have since been bailed, pending further investigation.
A spokesman for Hartlepool United refused to comment on the incident.
The row comes hot on the heels of toilets being vandalised at Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road stadium on September 29 when Rovers supporters daubed the initials ‘DRFC’ in human excrement on a cubicle wall.
Rovers were forced to apologise to the London club after photos of the sick act were posted on social media websites.