Whitehawk FC and their visitors Wealdstone blamed each other’s fans for the brawl that took place at the Enclosed Ground in East Brighton Park on Saturday (9 April).
The official Whitehawk FC website referred to “some very poor behaviour from a significant minority of Wealdstone fans”.
The Wealdstone website criticised “an unprovoked assault on one of our supporters”.
Whitehawk and Wealdstone fans clash today at their game.. pic.twitter.com/PpY6WWx7zD
— The Away Fans (@theawayfans) April 9, 2016
The Whitehawk website said: “Whitehawk FC would like to thank its fans, stewards, staff and Sussex Police for their tolerance and good nature today in the face of some very poor behaviour from a significant minority of Wealdstone fans.
“Following the advice of the police, it was necessary to shut the bar and hold Whitehawk fans within the ground until the offending Wealdstone fans left the ground.”
On the club’s Facebook page, it said: “Whitehawk FC will be releasing a statement on the disgraceful behaviour displaced by a minority of Wealdstone fans today in due course.
“We would like to go on record and say that this does not in any way reflect on Wealdstone FC.
“Many people in our club have gone on record and stated how we are influenced and inspired by how Wealdstone is run.
“Wealdstone are a great club with dedicated fans. What happened today is evident to all. We align with Wealdstone in condemning this type of behaviour.”
The Wealdstone website said: “Following an unprovoked assault on one of our supporters during the National League South match at Whitehawk FC yesterday, Wealdstone FC is investigating this incident and other incidents that took place at the end of the match.
“We will co-operate with the authorities as required and will provide our view on the stewarding and safety arrangements and the behaviour of all supporters.
“Wealdstone FC does not intend to provide any further statements until all investigations are complete.”
You just can’t make this up! Wealdstone fans starting trouble at Whitehawk and look who’s on the front line!!! pic.twitter.com/u45aChil31
— Henry Summers (@LordSummers) April 9, 2016
A Wealdstone supporter said that while one fan, Gordon Hill, also known as the Wealdstone Raider, appeared to be at the heart of the trouble, he was the victim of an unprovoked attack.
The supported said: “The Wealdstone Raider was a guest of the club. He came out of the boardroom and went round the ground at half time.
“A bloke came and whacked him. A steward witnessed it. The Whitehawk fan ran out of the ground.
“In the YouTube video he’d just been hit again. No wonder he looks angry.
“It was a Whitehawk guy after the game who got arrested.
“It was a lot of handbags and there were a lot of people trying to stop it and calm things down.
“It’s a minority who spoil it.”
Claims of racism, he said, were nonsense. And he added: “Wealdstone fans had intended to stay and watch the Grand National in the clubhouse.”
The plan was abandoned after the trouble and the supporter said: “The Wealdstone coach left under a police escort.”
Whitehawk won the match 3-0 in front of 724 fans, the biggest crowd of the season. It compares with an average of just over 300 which is 20 per cent up on last season.