Police play down trouble at derby match

Fans were a lot better behaved at New Douglas Park on Wednesday than they were back in November
Fans were a lot better behaved at New Douglas Park on Wednesday than they were back in November
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Police have played down the scale of the trouble at Wednesday’s Lanarkshire derby, but will have an increased presence at Fir Park when Motherwell and Hamilton Accies meet again tomorrow (Saturday).

There was a total of seven arrests at the League Cup tie at New Douglas Park, which Accies won on penalties, four inside the ground and three outside.

Opposition fans squared up to each other at Hamilton West Station before the match and outside the Academical Vaults afterwards, but on both occasions police moved in quickly to quell any hint of violence.

During the match ’Well fans set off two flares and there were some suggestion on social media of missiles being thrown from both ends, but match commander Chief Inspector Craig Ritchie says no specific incidents were reported to them.

He said: “The Motherwell supporters were certainly lively and jumping up and down, and the Hamilton fans were the same, however there were no major issues in the ground.

“For example two flares were set off by Motherwell fans, but in comparison at the Scottish Cup tie last November they set off 11, there was no damage to the seats and while there might have been the odd coin thrown nothing was reported to us.

“Equally there was no injuries either inside or outside the ground to supporters or police officers, with it being a derby match there is always the potential for a bit of aggravation, but we quickly moved in to nip any hint of trouble in the bud.”

Chief Inspector Ritchie said with the two sides meeting again so soon they will have an increased presence tomorrow, but don’t envisage any issues.

He said: “It really is a different scenario as at New Douglas Park you had over 2,000 Motherwell fans who basically outnumbered the home support by two to one.

“However, tomorrow they will be at their own ground with their season tickets and I would think there will be maybe 400 Accies fans, which is a lot easier to police.

“I realise that there is the potential for ill feeling to linger across a couple of days, but we are talking a tiny minority of fans who may wish to cause mischief, and I warn everyone we won’t tolerate anything untoward and will act if need be.”