Hartlepool fan in court over pitch invasion at Carlisle game

A Carlisle player removing a seat from the pitch during the match at Victoria Park.

A Carlisle player removing a seat from the pitch during the match at Victoria Park.

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A Hartlepool football fan has appeared in court over his part in a pitch invasion which sparked an FA investigation.

A number of people invaded the pitch during Hartlepool United’s League Two clash with Carlisle United on August 29.

Cleveland Police made 14 arrests at the game, Carlisle appealed for help from their fans in identifying the trouble-makers, while Pools were left facing a bill of more than £2,000 for repairs to damage to seating in the away end at Victoria Park.

The majority of those arrested were away fans celebrating a goal for the Cumbrians, but 21-year-old Craig Howley, of Camperbell Road, Hartlepool, was one of a small number of local supporters arrested.

He admitted going onto the playing surface at The Vic when he appeared before Hartlepool Magistrates Court.

District judge Martin Walker decided not to impose a banning order after hearing those already been dealt with have not been banned.

“What they did do was to find themselves having to pay out a lot of money,” said Judge Walker.

He told Cowley: “There is nothing in your record that suggests anything like this before and you have pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

“I must impose a £150 criminal court charge.

“I also have to impose a victim impact surcharge of £15. There will not be any fine, but instead there will be a conditional discharge for six months.”

Carlisle United media officer Andy Hall confirmed the FA was officially investigating the pitch invasion.

“We were notified by the FA that they are looking into the reports of pitch invasions which happened during the game at Hartlepool at the end of August.

“To that end we would ask anyone who can help us to identify individuals involved in these incidents to contact us.

“We take this type of incident very seriously and we will issue banning orders for any supporters who break ground rules or regulations, home or away.”