First United win ends in mass brawl

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Woodhouse United’s first league win of the season was overshadowed by a post-match brawl which involved players and fans from both teams.

It resulted in the police being called and three men being taken to hospital.

United’s hierarchy are remaining tightlipped over the incident, which happened at the end of Sunday’s home fixture against Asia FC, and was sparked by an injury-time challenge from Woodhouse’s Jonny Sutcliffe.

While United are waiting to see if the local FA takes any action before commenting on the brawl, an Asia FC spokesperson claimed the incident had been brewing all game.

He criticised Woodhouse for failing to control “drunken fans” who he claimed ran onto the pitch on numerous occasions, threw cans of lager and abused opposition players.

The spokesperson said: “In the final moments of the game a Woodhouse United player violently kicked out at one of our players having lost possession of the ball.

“This resulted in a fight involving players from both sides as well as the drunken Woodhouse supporters earlier mentioned.

“One of our players required hospital treatment and subsequently reported the matter to the police. The police and league are now investigating.”

United secretary Jim Farrow said Sutcliffe and Chris Ford were taken to hospital as a precaution following the brawl, but the club was confident the result would stand.

Rochdale & District Sunday Football League Discipline Secretary Tim Bartley said the committee was awaiting the referee’s report.

They could not take any action against either club or their players until they heard from the county FAs - West Riding and Lancashire. He said the matter would be discussed at a committee meeting this evening (Thursday).

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson confirmed officers attended the incident at 12.50pm on Sunday, having been called by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. But he said as no complaints had been made by any victims the force’s involvement had ended and the matter was being dealt with by the FA.

The ugly post-match scenes took the gloss off a positive result and performance by United, who sit in fourth place in the First Division of the Rochdale Sunday League.

Sutcliffe gave the home side the lead via the penalty spot, before Asia drew the level with a well-placed free-kick.

United withstood pressure, thanks to defensive stalwarts Ford and Joe Connor, and got the winner via a Ryan Horan free-kick.

United’s next game is at home to Heywood Rangers on Sunday, September 28.