• Football

Ince furious at Preston pitch invasion

ESPN staff
August 6, 2013
Police try to control the pitch invasion © Getty Images

The football season is hardly underway and already crowd trouble is high on the agenda after a pitch invasion marred the closing minutes of the Capital One Cup tie between Preston North End and Blackpool at Deepdale.

Tom Clarke's 87th-minute winner for the Preston was the signal for dozens of fans to run on to the pitch to confront the away supporters. Mounted police were needed to restore order and allow the match to finish. A steward was taken to hospital after he was trampled by a horse.

Both managers - Paul Ince of Blackpool and Simon Grayson of Preston - condemned the scenes.

"This is the problem in football and we talk about the Respect campaign and you see enough incidents in football where fans are allowed to run on the pitch," Ince said. "We've seen goalkeepers get hit and players get punched. When are we going to learn?

"When you've got 200 Preston fans running on the pitch and my players are still on the pitch, who knows? There's no control and is it going to take someone getting stabbed before we wake up and smell the coffee? This is a big derby, is there enough stewarding in the ground?

"We'll have to wait for something to happen to do something about it."

"It was an intense atmosphere and I said before the game that anyone that thought this was a quiet derby match were in for a rude awakening," Grayson said. "The scenes at the end shouldn't spoil what was a great occasion for the football club. It was just people being very boisterous. Hopefully there wasn't anything that was too untoward. You can expect it because it means so much to the football club to win a local derby but hopefully there won't be any repercussions."

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