No trouble from fans as home and away celebrate 'Ipswich Town relegation party'
PUBLISHED: 21:14 05 May 2019 | UPDATED: 21:14 05 May 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Fans were praised for their behaviour after Ipswich crossed swords with Leeds for the last match of the championship regular season.
Despite the two club's contrasting fortunes, Suffolk and West Yorkshire police officers expected a well-spirited clash as they worked together to maintain order before the 'Ipswich Town Relegation Party' on May 5.
As early as Saturday lunchtime Leeds fans were arriving at Ipswich train station, described by our reporter Katy Sandalls as being “in fine voice”.
With 4,100 tickets allocated to Leeds fans and as many as 8,000 fans thought to have made the journey, it is thought that many supporters had to enjoy the game from the comfort of Ipswich pubs.
Chief Inspector Simon Mills, leader of the matchday operations for the Leeds game, said: “The fans on both sides were all very much behaved before and during the match today.
“We made no arrests and no ejections of anyone in the ground, but we did detect the use of pyrotechnics in the stands, I believe it was after Leeds scored.
“Given the fact that Leeds still had something to play for and could have gone down the pecking order of the play-offs we were prepared for something to happen, but the results meant they still kept third place.”
Town took the lead twice through Flynn Downes and Andre Dozzell goals before Mateusz Klich and Stuart Dallas levelled things up.
Collin Quaner grabbed the winner in the final minute for 10-man Ipswich as he profited from a comedy of errors in the Leeds defence.
Before the game, Suffolk Constabulary had announced that, if necessary, their officers would be able to use section 35 dispersal powers.
The powers allow them to disperse any ongoing or potential anti-social behaviour, crime or disorder.
None of these powers were used but officers did intervene when a flashpoint of tension arose post-match as a large group of Ipswich fans close to the Leeds' supporters coaches exchanged verbal abuse with the visitors.
Officers drafted in from Essex Police, Norfolk Constabulary and Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police were at the 12.30pm kick-off at Portman Road, supported by the City of London's mounted police.
“If you're a Leeds fan, you've come here and had a good time and you're staying for the bank holiday Monday, I would say to you to enjoy yourselves responsibly and have a safe journey home tomorrow,” added CI Mills.