Football fans will be kept apart at Shay after trouble

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Opposing fans will be separated for Halifax Town matches for the rest of the season following unpleasant scenes on Saturday.

Several Corby Town fans were ejected from the east stand, which they shared with Halifax fans, during the season opener.

One Corby fan was removed during the first half for using foul and abusive language towards Halifax players and supporters, while three more were ejected after supporters moved towards the pitch following Corby’s second goal.

A Security Industry Authority steward was bitten by one of the fans as he tried to escort him from ground.

There was also a clash between Town fans and Corby fans after the game.

As a result, Ronnie Cowgill, ground safety officer at the Shay, said: “From now on, whether it’s five, 55 or 105, away fans will definitely be put in the west stand and there will be no problems.”

He also rejected claims from some supporters that the SIA stewards caused more problems than they solved as tempers began to fray during Town’s 3-1 defeat.

“I beg to differ,” he said. “One of them was bitten on the arm but he didn’t retaliate or use physical violence, despite the abuse.

“From this season it is a legal requirement to have them at the ground to be on the bars where alcohol is served, that’s the primary reason they’re there. You can’t have a normal steward on the bar.

“The second is that they’re much cheaper than getting the police to cover matches. Using these stewards saves the club a lot of money,” he said.

“The SIA stewards only get involved in extreme circumstances.”

Gary Byrnes, sports services manager at Calderdale Council, said: “The stewards who ejected the supporters are fully qualified security personnel and although not employed by the council they are supported by council officers.

“While ejecting the Corby spectator two of the stewards were assaulted while trying to deal with these incidents.

“After the game there was some fighting between home and away fans. The stewards acted as peacemakers to ensure no one got seriously injured.

“These type of incidents are very rare at the Shay and there will be a meeting of the safety team to put plans in action to prevent future issues.”