Oxford

Didcot v Hereford game abandoned due to pitch invasion

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Media captionDidcot's manager called it a "very bizarre day". Video: Lawrence Belcher

Two men were arrested after a violent pitch invasion caused a football match to be abandoned.

About 100 people were involved in the incident towards the end of Didcot Town's Southern Football League game against Hereford FC.

Didcot said it was "very disappointed", while Hereford - leading 2-1 at the time of the abandonment - said it was "deeply concerned".

BBC commentator Bill Rennells said "fists were flying everywhere".

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: "A 19-year-old man from Hereford was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence, and a 19-year-old man from Hereford was arrested on suspicion of common assault."

Both men have been bailed until April.

Image copyright PA
Image caption About 100 people were involved in the invasion

About 800 people attended Saturday's match, with the majority supporting the visiting Hereford team.

Didcot manager Andy Ballard called it a "very bizarre day".

He added: "I do have to commend the referee, he made a fantastic decision to call the game off.

"He couldn't guarantee the safety of the players, the supporters and everybody in the ground, so he made a very tough call, but I think it's the right one."

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Hereford FC tweeted about the pitch invasion

Hereford FC were formed in 2015 after former Football League club Hereford United were wound up in London's Royal Court of Justice the previous year.

They are the best supported team in the Southern League, with an average home attendance this season in excess of 2,700.

'Investigation'

In a statement, the club said: "It goes without saying that Hereford FC does not condone unlawful behaviour of any sort and club officials will be working very closely with the local police, Didcot Town, the stewards who were in attendance, the FA and the Southern League to establish the relevant facts, secure all available evidence and conduct a thorough investigation."

Mr Rennells, a journalist since the age of 14, said: "It's something I've never ever seen before in my 71-year career. There were people being held back, and some people trying to stop it."

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