Hereford & Worcester

Charge after Kidderminster Harriers player is punched

Lee Vaughan and the other players being taken off the pitch
Image caption Lee Vaughan and the other players were taken off the pitch by the referee after the incident

A man has been charged with assault after disorder at a football match in which one of the players was punched.

Play was halted for 31 minutes in the game at Kidderminster Harriers against Stockport County on Saturday evening following a pitch invasion.

Police said the disorder, in which Harriers' defender Lee Vaughan was punched, involved a "small number of away fans" after the hosts' first goal.

Stockport lost the game 4-0 and were relegated to the Blue Square Bet North.

The charged man is due to appear before Kidderminster magistrates on 9 May.

'Mentality of minority'

West Mercia Police said players from both sides were confronted on the pitch by the Stockport supporters and Vaughan was punched.

The referee then took all the players off the pitch while the game was suspended for more than half an hour.

BBC Sport's Ged Scott, who was at the Blue Square Bet Premier match at Aggborough, said: "County fans in the away section of the Railway Stand invaded the pitch and Vaughan was struck during a confrontation between players and fans."

Police escorted the away fans from the ground after the match and patrols of officers remained across Kidderminster during the evening.

The force said about 30 officers were involved in the policing operation, along with the police helicopter, dog handlers and British Transport Police.

Harriers chairman Mark Serrell said afterwards in a statement on the club's website: "Intelligence from Stockport going into the game [was] that there was no substantial risk of trouble - these people are experts in their field and gather that information well.

"You put all of that to one side and, unfortunately, you cannot legislate for the mentality of a very, very small minority."

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