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Smoke bombs, firecrackers, missiles, fans on pitch and homophobia at Isthmian League match

Smoke bombs, firecrackers, missiles, fans on pitch and homophobia have been reported at an Isthmian League match on Saturday.

The Hawks have put out a statement with criticism towards a minority of Littlehampton supporters for letting off firecrackers and smoke bombs.

But Littlehampton have issued a response with a statement of their own after their 3-1 victory, with both sides having a man sent off.

The incidents comes just months after the two sides’ South East Division meeting at Littlehampton was marred by trouble and abuse aimed at players, with round two of issues coming in the return fixture at Whitehawk it seems.

Whitehawk said, as per Sussex Express: “Whitehawk FC are saddened by the behaviour of a number of Littlehampton Town fans at today’s match, and apologise to our own supporters for what occurred.

“Despite the precautions we put in place, the match was marred by firecrackers, smoke bombs, flares, homophobic abuse, smashed chairs and fans entering the field of play.

“We wish to make clear there is no place for violence, bigotry and threatening behaviour within the beautiful game, and we are speaking to the opposition about what took place.

“Whitehawk FC operate a zero tolerance policy towards any abuse at The Enclosed Ground and are fully committed to our indefatigable value that football is for all.

“We thank Sussex Police for their assistance in responding speedily and preventing any further disorder. We will provide an update in due course, and a full report will be issued to the Isthmian League and the Football Association.”

Littlehampton said: “Littlehampton Town FC are disappointed there have been several incidents involving BOTH sets of supporters at this afternoon’s game at Whitehawk.

“We are bitterly disappointed at the use of smoke bombs and firecrackers when we have made it clear before that it is unacceptable and against the law to use them inside a football ground.

“We have witnessed a missile thrown from a Whitehawk supporter which struck a Littlehampton Town committee member. In addition there were a number of Whitehawk fans who entered the field of play to confront our supporters during the game which esculated the situation.

“Our Safety Officer has already spoken with Sussex Police regarding the incidents and will continue to do so over the coming days. We shall also speak with Whitehawk FC over the next few days with regards to the incidents today.

“We shall make no further comment until we have spoken with all the relevant parties.”

@IsaacGleave wrote: Saddened and sickened after today, there’s no place for it in any walk of life. To see Littlehampton’s players clapping and cavorting in front of their ‘fans’ shows how deeply rooted it is within their club. Action has to be taken.

This is what Twitter users had to say on smoke bombs, firecrackers, missiles, fans on pitch and homophobia at an Isthmian League match…

@sincedeleted: so predictable

@beal746: Littlehampton fans are always innocent…..never in the wrong

@huddy3728: Should ban that club from bringing supporters next season…..

@callum_leader: Same thing every week how the @IsthmianLeague have not made any action is a joke. 🤦🏻‍♂️

@bellis_stuart: Only fan arrested was a Whitehawk supporter? Any comment on that individual’s behaviour?

@john__peel: “no place for violence” apart from when your (former) centre back is repeatedly kicking an opposition player, on the floor, in the head during a pre season friendly. Eerily silent about that

@Prozy71: Omg hope everyone ok

@danieljclarke: “Precautions put in place”? You didn’t search any fans, you didn’t have enough stewards / safety officers (despite this being sadly inevitable) and continued to serve the trouble makers beers long into the first half.

@AdyBaker3: Stones and glass houses come to mind . Whitehawk have never been squeaky clean and you all know what I mean

@AfcManor: How many statements do @LittlehamptonFC want to make. They’re supporters give the club a bad name. Both games this season the club have made a statement because they’re own fans

@Jackalbion96: Trouble follows them everywhere they go

@BenDBollard: Sad that the success Littlehampton had last season has led to a few morons latching on to the club and wrecking the clubs good reputation.

@SteveBrighton4: I remember playing against you when you had dunk Somers, geard, dunk etc, your fans stole one of our team shirts and burnt it, now u don’t like a bit of banter 🤫🤫🤫

@callum_leader: Same thing, every week 🤦🏻‍♂️

@HawkArmy: There won’t be any. LThampton will spout some platitudes and they will go back to business as usual. They are clearly fine with it, both club and players.

@connorbhafc: biggest hypocrites in the world you lot always the victims never the culprits

@brian_haran: What nonsense. The players were saluting a quite amazing, backs-to-the-wall victory, as you will know. It doesn’t remotely imply they are condoning off the pitch

@NaldrettJack: So. Deeply. Rooted. Just look at the vice chairman’s comments. Not a care in the world. The gaffer never speaks up, the fans don’t condone it, the players don’t ask them to tone it down. It’s all encouraged. Grim.

@SteveBrighton4: Whitehawks fans are the biggest boasters in the league, drawling about your so called ultras, your perpetual signings which the way you announce them is laughable, and what a player budget you must have, peace and love lol, some money there from the xxxx money 🤫🤫🤫🖤💛

@spamuelmurph: There is no place in football for what we saw today. Those fans were a disgrace to their club and the whole football family. But we are Whitehawk, and we will keep singing for equality, peace, love and positivity. 🦅🔴⚪️

@AfcManor: Blaming whitehawk fans is embarrassing. Both games against whitehawk you’ve made a statement because of you’re own fans. Letting smoke grenades off in the club house where kids are, smashing other clubs grounds and still can’t take the blame

@TractorBoyCCFC: Is this normal for the club to simply issue a statement that they are disappointed with some of their own fans behaviour. Take responsibility. Issue an apology, do the investigation and then take action. This is clearly not a one off incident.

@BrightonStPauli: You are DEFENDING your fans CLOSING the supporters club through use of SMOKE BOMBS and their damage to fans toilets. Your players CELEBRATED with them at FT. Assume this line of apology is an attempt to avoid reparation costs or a way to become Boris Johnson’s nest PR manager

@georgecricfoot3 (Replying to @LittlehamptonFC): Is that more or less than 10 statements you’ve been forced to write about your fans since the start of the vase run. Wonder when it will finally hit home

@95BenWright95: Statement 99 from Littlehampton about their supporters this year 🤣

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