Broxbourne Borough have joined Chester FC in condemning the unsavoury scenes which marred the FA Youth Cup clash between the clubs - and have expressed their 'sadness' and 'embarrassment' by the actions of 'one section' of their crowd.
Blues chief executive Mark Maguire and supporters who made the trip to Goffs Lane issued statements to The Chronicle following incidents which occurred during and after the third-round tie on Wednesday night (November 7).
The match, which Broxbourne won 1-0 after extra-time to end Chester's run in the competition , had to be halted at one stage after a supporter ran on to a pitch.
A Blues player was also confronted at the final whistle after fans entered the field of play.
Broxbourne's director of football Graham Dodd has now addressed the claims made by Maguire and supporters and has offered an apology on behalf of the Hertfordshire club.
Dodd told The Chronicle: "From the outset, can we as a club make it absolutely clear to all parties that we condemn the actions of one section of the crowd on Wednesday night at our FA Youth Cup tie against Chester FC.
"The people who invaded the pitch at the end of the game are not club members and are not known to the club. They had paid admission to the ground and were allowed in, as were hundreds of other fans.
"All Broxbourne players, including the first team, who attended the match, did so in club tracksuits.
"On what was a fantastic night for the smallest club left in the competition, their actions tainted our taste of success and we will be making every effort to trace the alleged assailant.
"On the night, I personally spoke to several Chester board members and one of their coaches who graciously came into the home changing room, but nobody had seen the incident, so no further information was available to us.
"To that end, I personally emailed Tony Allen, the general manager at Chester FC at 9am on Thursday (December 8) morning offering our apologies to the club in general and the player allegedly attacked, also requesting the opportunity to apologise directly to the player."
Blues chief executive Maguire, who attended the match, told The Chronicle: "Broxbourne as a club were more than welcoming but unfortunately the whole evening was soured by scenes which simply have no place in football, let alone youth football.
"During the game our players were subject to verbal abuse, bottle throwing, pitch invaders and at the final whistle a pitch invasion saw at least one of our players on the end of a physical confrontation."
A Chester supporter, who was at the game but wished not to be named, told us: "Play was interrupted by a pitch invader who jumped over the fence by a noisy contingent of Broxbourne fans. Once he was on the pitch no-one came after him, and the referee had to stop play. After his mini-invasion, he jumped the pitch surrounds and ran into the crowd. The referee refused to start the game until he was caught and escorted out of the ground. That took a while, as a steward chased after him while people in the crowd pointed him out as he darted behind the burger van.
"During extra-time, the Chester corner taker had to take a corner very close to the same vociferous set of Broxbourne fans. Not only were they hurling abuse, but I saw a plastic bottle being thrown at him, and the referee's assistant almost stood in a position to protect him as he took his corner."
Dodd has responded to those claims.
He said: "One empty plastic bottle was thrown at a Chester player taking a corner. We condemn that action and are not seeking to run away from the fact that it happened, but the descriptive 'bottle throwing' in our opinion exaggerates the scale of the problem.
"The allegation of verbal abuse comes as a surprise to us. There was no doubt there was much chanting and singing on the night, which unfortunately included some rather unsavoury language, sadly increasingly common at all levels of the game, but no Broxbourne official or steward heard verbal abuse.
"There was one pitch invader during the game. The idiot actually ran on to the pitch while the game was stopped with a Chester player receiving treatment. He ran diagonally from the corner flag towards the main stand on the other side. A quick-thinking steward ran around the perimeter fence towards his destination rather than chase him a longer distance across the pitch. Supporters did aid his location and he was immediately ejected from the ground. We reject any accusation that we acted slowly.
"The club would welcome input from anyone present regarding the identity of the alleged assailant during the pitch invasion at the end of the game, as we continue our investigations."
Dodd added: "We have a solid reputation as a family club running multiple sides at age groups from development to under-18s, including a cerebral palsy team, and our all-inclusive policy was probably best demonstrated on the night by young youth team players acting as mascots, led by one of our cerebral palsy players.
"We are both saddened and embarrassed by the actions of one section of the crowd and such events have never happened at our club before, at any level. We will be meeting to discuss the events of Wednesday night and how we need to change and improve our stewarding.
"In closing, we again offer our sincere apologies for the events of Wednesday evening.
Broxbourne have been drawn at home to Yeovil Town in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup.