CCTV of a pitch invasion following Swindon Town’s play-off semi-final against Sheffield United is to be examined by police. Wiltshire Police said they had to use batons to separate fans and warned there may be “follow up arrests”.
The invasion happened after an epic 5-5 draw saw Swindon beat Sheffield United 7-6 on aggregate to get through to the League One play-off final at Wembley.
Officers said the “vast majority” of fans were well behaved. But one Sheffield United supporter was arrested outside the County Ground on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.
“Some baton strikes were used at the Sheffield end to prevent disorder between the supporters,” a police spokesman said. “This was triggered by a pitch invasion mainly by Swindon supporters.”
Swindon Town will play Preston North End in the play-off final on 24 May, with the winners being promoted to the Championship.
SWINDON Town fought their way to Wembley in a game branded the best play-off tie ever after a ten-goal thriller at the County Ground last night. They were held 5-5 by Sheffield United but won 7-6 on aggregate.
Swindon Town raced into a three-goal lead within 18 minutes and the mood in pubs like The Merlin in Drove Road and the Tap and Barrel was buoyant but fate wasn’t finished with this nail-biting, goal drenched play-off semi-final second leg.
Some 79 minutes and seven goals later fans in the ground, in the pubs and at home watching TV had been through the wringer.
The Sky commentary team called it the most amazing semi-final ever and who could argue? Better still who cares? Swindon Town are off to Wembley. It was the highest-scoring play-off tie ever but Town boss Mark Cooper called it: “The worst game of football I’ve ever been through.
“I’m sure the people watching at home really enjoyed it. I don’t think there’s ever been a game like it. It was like two heavyweight boxers trying to knock each other out, it was a ridiculous game of football.
“When Obika scored I thought that was it. It was one of those nights, if we’d kept playing it could have been 10-10. “The crowd were fantastic, I wish it was like that every week.”
In pubs like The Merlin The Tap and Barrel enjoyment was not really the emotion as The Blades resilience ensured the home fans were never comfortable. Sheffield pulled it back to 3-2, then 4-3 and eventually 5-5 but somehow Swindon kept the edge.
The mood in the pubs swung from elation to disbelief when sub John Obika made it 4-2 with six minutes left, only for the visitors to grab two more goals and torture the home fans some more. But the final whistle brought an eruption of joy and a pitch invasion. Despite the elation no one could really believe what they had seen.
Aussie midfielder Massimo Luongo could barely contain his excitement live on BBC Wiltshire. Asked for his summary of the night’s events he could only reply: “F***** unbelievable game.”
Town legend Steve White said afterwards: “It was an incredible game. I’ve never seen anything like it in a long, long time.”
Swindon Town 5-5 Sheffield United
(Swindon go through 7-6 on aggregate)
Mon 11 May 2015
League One play-off semis (2nd leg)