Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

DOUBLE TROUBLE; OFF THE PITCH: 23 Arrested after Game ON THE PITCH: Defeat Leaves Boro in Crisis

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

DOUBLE TROUBLE; OFF THE PITCH: 23 Arrested after Game ON THE PITCH: Defeat Leaves Boro in Crisis

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE BARLEY

BORO are in crisis today after falling to their lowest league position for 20 years.

And there was double trouble at the Riverside as violence flared after Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Leeds United.

Police made 23 arrests after rival fans clashed outside the stadium and in Middlesbrough town centre following the end of the Championship match on Saturday evening.

Scuffles broke out between supporters although no one was seriously injured as a result of the disturbances.

The incidents came after a disappointing night for Boro supporters, with the team slumping to a 2-1 defeat. During the match, fans called for the sacking of manager Gordon Strachan, while the defeat leaves the club in 20th place in the Championship - the lowest position in 20 years. One of the flashpoints occurred near Albert Road and Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough with police on horseback charging fans. Meanwhile other incidents broke out closer to the ground. Robert Nichols, editor of Boro fanzine Fly Me To The Moon, said he was not surprised that there were some arrests. He said: "There were obviously a lot more fans, and a lot more away fans, than usual, and since they were not coming that far they don't all have to come by coach.

There was quite a bit of tension before and after the game so it's not a surprise that there were some arrests." Middlesbrough fan Richard Lewis, 62, of Nunthorpe, saw one confrontation between groups of fans near the ground. He said: "There was a brief skirmish which led to a brief confrontation between groups of Boro and Leeds fans. There were threats between the supporters but the confrontation was broken up very quickly by police using horses and dogs." He added: "Some Leeds fans were definitely inciting confrontation." Footage on the internet also shows a confrontation between police and Leeds fans on the concourse during half-time. Police were also called into the stands several times during the game to deal with what appeared to be Leeds fans in Boro sections. …

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