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Club Condemns Fan Behaviour

PRESS ASSOCIATION

A Premier League football club has said it will take the "strongest possible action" after a pitch invasion marred a pre-season friendly and saw three fans arrested.

Newcastle United condemned the "shameful" behaviour of its supporters who invaded the pitch during the away match against Darlington last night.

Three fans arrested by Durham Police remain in custody following the incursion by hundreds of supporters at the Darlington Arena after Sammy Ameobi's 55th-minute second goal for the visitors.

During the 10 minute delay Newcastle manager Alan Pardew pleaded with fans to leave the pitch and many in the ground thought the match would be abandoned.

Newcastle United managing director Derek Llambias issued a statement which read: "On behalf of everyone at Newcastle United FC, we wholly condemn the behaviour of a number of our supporters who invaded the pitch during the second half of the club's friendly against Darlington this evening.

"The club will be seeking to obtain footage of the disorder from Darlington FC and the police and will be taking the strongest possible action against those individuals responsible for the shameful behaviour.

"This behaviour is not typical of the vast majority of our fans, however this incident gives a poor impression of Newcastle United and its loyal supporters."

Darlington manager Mark Cooper told the club's website the trouble was "disappointing" but said he was relieved no players were injured.

Durham Police confirmed three visiting Newcastle fans were arrested for "pitch incursion" and another was escorted from the ground.

Some of the 9,000-plus crowd thought the match had been abandoned but the referee managed to restart the game after the playing surface was cleared. The match ended 2-0 to the visitors.