South Shields FC condemn troublemakers after violence at Gateshead friendly

A small number of the crowd were involved in trouble at the game between South Shields and Gateshead at Mariners Park.
A small number of the crowd were involved in trouble at the game between South Shields and Gateshead at Mariners Park.

South Shields Football Club have slammed troublemakers after violence marred Saturday's pre-season friendly with Gateshead.

The Mariners played out a 1-1 draw with their Tyneside neighbours in front of a bumper crowd at Mariners Park.

But trouble flared among a small number of supporters both during and after the game, with club chairman Geoff Thompson later going for a drink with Gateshead fans to help defuse matters.

Police were called to the ground, although no arrests were made.

However, the club said anyone causing trouble at games could face the prospect of a banning order.

A club statement said: "The club strongly condemns some of the scenes witnessed during and after yesterday's pre-season friendly against Gateshead at Mariners Park.

"Much hard work has been undertaken to make Mariners Park a family-friendly place to watch football, and it is extremely disappointing that any incident of this nature has occurred.

"Following the incident which occurred during the game, South Shields FC chairman Geoff Thompson and other club officials had dialogue with both sets of supporters who were involved, and believed that the matter was resolved.

"However, after the final whistle there was regrettably a further incident.

"The club will not tolerate behaviour of this kind, and if anyone - whether they are home or away supporters - is seen to be causing distress to others at any game they will be evicted from the ground, with the potential for a banning order to follow.

"The vast majority of a superb crowd of 1,449 behaved impeccably yesterday and we would like to thank them for their magnificent support.

"Following the game, Mr Thompson his son Callum - who were due to travel back to Newcastle via Metro following the game - offered to walk with Gateshead supporters to Bede Metro station to reduce the prospect of any further problems and calm the situation.

"The Thompsons were invited by the supporters to a bar in Gateshead, where they spoke further and agreed that the clubs have had a positive relationship in the past and it is important it stays that way.

"SSFC will work closely with the police to make sure there is no recurrence of these incidents and that Mariners Park remains a positive, family-friendly venue to watch football.

"Thank you for your continued backing and assistance."