CHESTER City football fans have criticised ‘heavy-handed’ policing at an away match which saw two of them arrested.
Supporters claim they were not allowed to stand when celebrating goals in Chester’s 2-1 victory at Notts County on Saturday.
A Nottinghamshire Police spokesman confirmed a 45-year-old man from Ellesmere Port was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and a 28-year-old man from Chester was arrested on suspicion of assault.
Both men have been bailed pending further inquiries and will return to a Nottinghamshire police station next month.
Notts County has denied allegations on a Notts County fans’ website that one steward was suspended but says a steward received hospital treatment as a result of the trouble.
Chester City fan Michael McLoughlin described ‘disgraceful’ stewarding and policing.
He said: “From the start, the stewards were provocative and confrontational. They were insisting people sit down, even when celebrating a goal. The stewards seemed hell-bent on evicting people.
“One guy, being evicted for doing nothing but support his team, had a steward square up to him in a ‘go on then, have a go’ posture.
“This started the fighting, with many police becoming involved. We are talking about 20 teenagers here, yet middle-aged family men became involved and this was a direct result of aggressive stewarding. The ‘supervisor’ looked about 25 years old and was out of control.
“We'd each paid our £20 overpriced admission so why can't we cheer on our team without some idiots trying to ruin it?”
Barrie Hipkiss, chairman of the official supporters’ club, did not see what happened but was concerned at what he heard while travelling back on the bus.
He said: “I’m told it was very heavy-handed, the way they dealt with it. Instead of ejecting him in the usual manner, he pushed him down the stairs to get him out.”
Notts County spokesman Tom Loakes denied a steward had been suspended. He added: “I heard one of the stewards had to go to hospital as a result of being assaulted by a Chester fan.”
Mr Loakes found the idea laughable that fans would have been told off for celebrating a goal. “There’s a bit of realism required there,” he said.