Atherstone v Barrow in the FA Cup held up by severe hooliganism & fan violence [Pictures]

“Just as the half-time whistle sounded, a group of home supporters ran across the pitch to the Barrow fans. Flares were thrown at the Barrow fans and punches were thrown too. One or two had grazes including an old chap who had been to the toilets, walked back in, and got punched in the face. Our substitutes were warming up and got attacked too. The players ran off, assisted by the Atherstone substitutes, and there was an incident in the tunnel too when a fan got in and knocked on the dressing-room door. He didn’t get in, but he said he wanted a word with one of our players who went out and was threatened. The Barrow fans who travelled were magnificent. Some fans left at half-time which was quite understandable. We spoke to the home club afterwards, and the referee was aware of the incident in the tunnel which he’ll be reporting.” – Barrow club secretary Russell Dodd.

“I am personally embarrassed about the scenes here at half-time. It was unacceptable. Obviously, we will be pursuing the perpetrators. We will work alongside the security officers, the referees and the police and those people responsible will feel the full force of the law. The situation was defused as quickly as possible, the police came in to take control but once it has happened it has happened and I apologise to the Barrow fans.” – Atherstone chairman Rob Weale.

The 3rd qualifying round of the FA Cup was marred on Saturday by the images that emerged from Atherstone’s home match with Barrow.

Effectively, tens of Atherstone fans went on a rampage at half-time, because their side was losing 4-0.

The game was held up for over 10 minutes and the pictures below have spread like wildfire on the social networks – pretty much the worst advert possible for lower division football in England.

One elderly Barrow fan (reportedly 88-years-old…) was injured and Atherstone hooligans attacked the substitutes of the opposition and “stole” a flag.

As of yet, as far as we are aware, no video of the hooliganism has yet emerged.