1,400 York City fans to MISS today's play-off semi following Wednesday's pitch invasion

·2-min read
Lenell John-Lewis, celebrates his goal against Chorley. Picture: Adam Davy. Right: fans invade the pitch and damage seating
Lenell John-Lewis, celebrates his goal against Chorley. Picture: Adam Davy. Right: fans invade the pitch and damage seating

AS many as 1,400 York City fans will NOT be able to see this afternoon’s National League North play-off semi-final against Brackley - as a direct result of Wednesday’s pitch invasion at the LNER Community Stadium.

A large number of fans stormed the pitch after City’s 2-1 play-off quarter final win over Chorley on Wednesday, which saw the club’s biggest home attendance for years of more than 6,300 fans.

A few fans even made their way onto the pitch while the game was still being played - and had to be escorted away as the match was paused.

Chairs were damaged during the game in the south stand of the ground - where the majority of singing and chanting from York fans takes place during home games - and flares were thrown onto the pitch.

The York City Board has now confirmed that Brackley has withdrawn 1,400 tickets which would have gone to York City fans because of the incident.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the board said: “As a consequence of these regrettable actions on Wednesday evening a considerable number of our fans will now be deprived of the ability to watch this crucial game and support the Team at Brackley .. with the home side withdrawing approximately 1,400 tickets from sale to York City Fans in view of their perceived additional security costs that would be considered necessary.”

The statement continues: "York City Football Club are Community based, proud of our heritage and loyal supporters. Those involved in the disgraceful scenes on Wednesday evening should now reflect on the damage their actions have inevitably caused which are significant.

"The overall cost, which is not necessarily only financial even though this will be substantial, includes severe damage to our enviable reputation, being acknowledged throughout the Football Community as a Club with magnificent fan support."

The York Stadium Management company, which runs the stadium, says on its website that pitch incursion is a ‘criminal offence’. “Anyone doing so will be ejected from the stadium and banned from re-entry at any time in the future,” the company says.

It adds: “Several recent matches (have) resulted in damage to the seats and their supporting framework.

“Continuous damage is ultimately costing your club as they must make them ready for the next match. We have at our disposal over 150 CCTV cameras. These are used to identify who has damaged areas and when, as well as identifying those who think they have got away with it.”

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