Hemel Hempstead Town FC officials have spoken out to reassure fans that the small section of crowd trouble at their play-off final clash with Gosport was just a one-off.
A skirmish broke out in the Hemel supporters’ end during last Monday’s penalty shoot-out defeat, causing some of the 2,450 bumper crowd to leave the game early.
But the club has acted quickly to allay fans’ fears for future matches.
A club spokesman said: “Hemel Hempstead Town FC are aware of the small skirmish during the second half of the play-off final game.
“Whilst investigations are still underway, it is becoming apparent that the persons involved were not Hemel Hempstead Town supporters – moreover they were supporters of two nearby football clubs who appear to have come to the game intent on causing trouble.
“The club firmly believes it had adequate stewarding, and indeed a police presence, to deal with any situation that may have arisen.
“We can only apologise to anyone who was affected by the altercation between a very small number of opposing supporters – not Gosport Borough fans – and would like to assure our supporters that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated by the club.
“Anyone identified during the skirmish was removed from the stand and ejected from the stadium.
“A risk assessment was carried out by our safety officer prior to the match and all guidelines given to us by the police were adhered to.
“Given the record attendance on the day and the positive feedback we have received from supporters, the club feels that regardless of the small fracas and final result, the event was successful.
“We pride ourselves on being a family community club and will be looking closely at what happened in order to take whatever action is necessary so that future events are not marred by the idiocy of a very small percentile of people.”
The trouble broke out shortly after half-time, with Hemel trailing 2-0.
Punches appeared to be thrown, and at least one man was tackled to the ground by police before being ejected from the ground.
The incident tarnished what was, on the whole, a memorable day for the club.
Despite their defeat, the Tudors were boosted by a bumper crowd which brought in vital funds for the club.
Hemel manager Dean Brennan has since stated his desire to remain in charge of the club as they target automatic promotion from the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division next season.
This year, the Tudors finished in fourth place in the division, 23 points adrift of title-winning Leamington.
Tudors captain Jordan Parkes tweeted:”Gutted about losing in the play-off final on pens, but it’s been a great season and pleasure to captain a great set of lads.”