Town faithful under attack at derby game

IPSWICH fans came under a barrage of coins from a baying mob of frustrated Canary fans, the Evening Star can reveal today.Estimates ranged from two to three hundred Norwich supporters, intent on getting revenge on victorious Ipswich fans after yesterday's match.

IPSWICH fans came under a barrage of coins from a baying mob of frustrated Canary fans, the Evening Star can reveal today.

Estimates ranged from two to three hundred Norwich supporters, intent on getting revenge on victorious Ipswich fans after yesterday's match.

About 30 fans emerged from Carrow Road and congregated outside Norwich railway station, where they were joined by hundreds more, as Ipswich-bound fans arrived.

Coins began to rain down on the police, as Canary fans hurled torrents of abuse and vented their frustrations on the station forecourt.

Officers were forced to fight back the crowds by wielding batons, bringing in dogs, and restraining crowds from on horseback.

Trouble at the station, and at the ground, kicked off despite Norfolk Police later saying disturbances were limited to just three Norwich City fans, arrested for "fairly minor public order offences".

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A police spokesman said despite a brief flashpoint – which he admitted threatened to get serious at one point – police were generally pleased with the behaviour of fans at Carrow Road.

The worst trouble flared up shortly after the final whistle, when up to 200 Norwich fans gathered at the back of the Barclay Stand and tried to break through lines of police and stewards - to get into the area where the 2,000 Ipswich fans would be leaving.

There was a stand-off between the City followers – upset after a 2-0 defeat – and the officers with batons.

The fans seemed intent on causing trouble, and they chanted anti-Ipswich songs before some scuffles occurred.

Mounted police and dog handlers were brought in, and about half an hour later the Ipswich supporters were finally able to leave.

A 150-strong police team – including horses from Nottingham and officers from Suffolk – was on duty for the high-profile fixture.

The 21,243 crowd was the biggest for a Carrow Road derby for more than a decade.

The Norfolk police helicopter circled above the ground before and after the game, on the look out for trouble.

Chief Inspector Nick Barnard, of Norfolk Police, said the game was a "logistical nightmare", but the operation had gone well.

"It is a traditionally emotional game, but we had less arrests than at some normal games."

He stopped short of criticising Norwich fans who waited outside the ground for the Ipswich supporters to leave.

"It is unfortunate that someone has to lose," he said.

Superintendent Carl Puiy, of Suffolk Police, said 20 Suffolk officers and 23 Ipswich stewards were at the game.

He said only about 800 of the 2,000 Ipswich fans had travelled by coach or train, which made it more difficult to escort them.

He said: "We are pleased and it has gone very well. There was the usual banter you expect."

A Suffolk Police spokesman today declined to comment further, saying Norfolk Police had been in charge.

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