Police expect to arrest more football supporters after League Two’s match of the day between promoted Chesterfield FC and Bury was marred by pitch invasions and disorder at the B2net Stadium.
So far three arrests have been made – including a 13-year-old boy who is suspected of an assault on Bury goalkeeper Cameron Belford, a 16-year-old youth suspected of of a public order offence and a 38-year-old man.
All three have been bailed pending further enquiries.
The match, which attracted more than 9,600 spectators, was supposed to be a day of celebration for the Spireites who could have clinched the title with a victory over the Shakers.
But three times Bury took the lead and won 3-2 to secure their own elevation to League One next season.
Trouble flared when Jack Lester scored in front of the Kop end to make it 2-2 in the 63rd minute.
Excited fans swarmed on to the pitch to celebrate but a small minority taunted the Bury players and one is alleged to have thrown a punch at the keeper – who underwent surgery for a fractured cheekbone in November. The incident was caught in vivid detail by a press photographer.
There were further pitch invasions by both sets of supporters at the end of the game.
Inspector Russ Dakin, who was in charge of the policing operation for the match, said: “The behaviour of a minority of people in the ground was extremely disappointing.
“So far we have arrested three people but anticipate further arrests in the coming days and weeks.
“A number of people have contacted the police voluntarily having seen the media coverage.
“We are working closely with the club and rest assured anyone who is identified as being involved in an offence will be dealt with either via the criminal route or through civil or club bans.”
Chesterfield FC stadium manager Colin Nellist admitted the club was “disappointed and embarrassed” by the incidents which had cast a ‘black cloud’ over the Blues season of success.
He said that fans needed to be reminded that it will not tolerate fans encroaching on to the pitch as this is a serious offence which breaks ground regulations.
Mr Nellis added: “We have had a fantastic first season in our new stadium so it is very disappointing that the good name of the club has been brought into disrepute by the stupidity of a mindless few who we are keen to identify. We will not allow the bad behaviour of a few to spoil the enjoyment of the vast majority.”
Spireites finance director Alan Walters said the club planned to beef up its security for the final game of the season against Gillingham on Saturday week.
He said: “There will be a greater stewarding presence at the Gillingham game and this will continue into next season. The cost of this additional stewarding if required for the full season will be in excess of £100,000 and this will have to be passed on to fans in the form of higher charges.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Chesterfield CID on 0345 123 3333 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.