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Reading furious at ‘worrying’ scenes with fans clashing on the pitch at Kidderminster

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic is furious at the ‘worrying’ scenes with fans clashing on the pitch at Kidderminster Harriers.

The National League North outfit sparked a surprise by officially becoming FA Cup giant-killers after beating Championship opposition to book a place into the fourth round draw.

Kiddy defeated Reading 2-1 at Aggborough Stadium to stun their opponents who are positioned 79 places above them on the English football pyramid.

It initially as expected, with George Puscas’ first-half opener putting the visitors ahead, only for Harriers attacker Sam Austin to level in the second half.

Kidderminster went in front thanks to Amari Morgan-Smith bundling home with less than 10 minutes of normal time remaining, with his winner leading to a pitch invasion at full time.

Watching on, Reading boss Veljko Paunovic was far from pleased at the scenes playing out, and claimed his players’ safety was put at risk.

Home fans taunted the away end before police got on to clear the pitch, despite that, Paunovic felt it was dangerous.

He said: “I was very worried for their safety because it was too close and aggressive. The safety of all of us was put in jeopardy and even worse things could have happened.

“It was challenging, it wasn’t safe and it wasn’t very nice to hear what people were saying to our players and the rest of our staff.

“We understand the world we are living in, it happens. It’s just insults but it’s not nice because you don’t know when someone will overstep the boundaries and do something else. It was bad.

“I thought the best thing was to run inside but I thought I couldn’t leave my team out there so I went to bring the players inside quickly and tell them not to respond.

“Tom Dele-Bashiru was insulted so I tried to say ‘don’t do anything’. I don’t want to make a case of it but I don’t think this is how it should be.”

Harriers boss Russ Penn wants the chance of producing an even bigger shock next time and has a Premier League team in mind.

He said: “I’m a Wolves fan but never played there. So selfishly I’d love to play there but they’ve got a tough game tomorrow. Wolves, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea – it’s mad to even be talking about these clubs.

“We want to be a league club and that’s our overall objective but these are the days that will never leave the memories of these players.

“I’m stuck for words. I’m so proud of the players and the football club. We know it’s a one-off, up against a Championship side and we’ve exceeded expectations.

“At half-time we said it’s about staying in the game and when we got the equaliser it felt like there was only going to be one winner.

“We’ve got plenty of heart. We had our objectives for this season and this was one of them.”

@TimNash_1, a journalist, wrote on what he saw: “Mass pitch invasion at the final whistle. Then some unsavoury scenes as Harriers fans made their way towards the Reading end, where it looked like stewards and police took a long time to appear.

“A bottle of water was thrown from the Reading end, what looked like part of an advertising hoarding was lifted and thrown towards the pitch and I saw one fan landing a few punches on another before authorities intervened.”

With Reading furious at the ‘worrying’ scenes with fans clashing on the pitch at Kidderminster, Twitter users gave their reaction…

@Dubstep1988: Hard fight to score. Young Kidderminster fan starts it, poos himself, but recovers well with the rugby tackle. Reading fan deserves credit for meeting the goading head on and lands a few blows, but the balance is awful before the intervention. 10-10 round for me. #readingfc

@caldini4: Perfectly executed wheelbarrow move

@JimNo1871: More fight shown in ten seconds than all 16 of them showed for 90minutes

@readingfclens: Reading fans ripping advertising hoarding, and fans jumping over to confront the Kidderminster fans #readingfc

@JMP1871: Don’t think anything could be more Reading FC than one of our fans throwing a flare on the pitch and stopping play the ONLY time we managed to get through on goal against Kidderminster Harriers. Joke of a club lol

@PhilipaSaich: @WMerciaPolice terrible policing by you guys at Kidderminster v Reading. Why would you even think letting the home fans approach away fans would be ok? And to the father who let his kid throw a bottle – you’re a prick and your son needs a better role model

@dogmanstar76: Joke of a club. Going to a non league club and trying to kick off 😅😅

@bethbaangboom: we have an embarrassing fan base 🤡

@bealec1988: So not only did the team embarrass us on the pitch our fans are embarrassing us in the stands….

@callumdcfc1: Reading 12 year olds got their Stoneys for Christmas then

@OllyURZ: I dont care how bad we are this is embarrassing, pathetic and wrong!

@RoyalStu1871: More fight than was shown on the pitch!

@NorthDevonRoyal: Our so called fans are an embarrassment at times, almost as embarrassing as the team

SEE MORE: Fans fight, chants condemned, knee stance booed, player hit by bottle in Millwall v Crystal Palace

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