Ballymena United fans condemn trouble after Coleraine game

Ballymena United supporters have condemned the trouble between groups of rival fans after Wednesday's cup match against Coleraine.

Witnesses reported fighting taking place outside the Ballymena Showgrounds and elsewhere in the town.

Police said two people, aged 19 and 20, had been arrested.

The PSNI added that officers had stayed in the Warden Street area outside the ground until all the supporters had left.

The police said local residents had been understandably concerned about trouble taking place on their doorsteps.

A number of Ballymena United supporters' clubs issued a statement on Thursday, expressing disgust at what had happened and claiming a rogue had attached itself to the club.

"No innocent supporter should have to run the gauntlet of physical violence while leaving a football ground under a hail of bottles and stones," the statement read.

"As supporters, we have a duty to represent our club in the most favourable light possible and scenes like those last night fall far short of the mark.

"They fall short too, in terms of the respect we are obliged to show the residents of Warden Street and the wider community on whom the club relies for support.

"Most seriously, we need to bear the safety of our fellow fans in mind and ensure that the next generation of Sky Blue fans aren't dissuaded from following in our footsteps by the anti-social actions of the minority."

The statement was issued by Ballymena's safety liaison officer, Philip Simpson, and the Seven Towers, Spirit of 89, Paramount and Paradise Supporters' Clubs