Carlisle await FA response to pitch invasion

10 February 2010 11:34
The Football Association are looking into the events at Brunton Park after Leeds United manager Simon Grayson claimed three of his players were attacked by supporters following Carlisle United's penalty shoot-out win over their League One rivals.

Abbott, who used to be a youth team coach at Leeds, is braced for the football authorities to punish Carlisle as the evening descended into chaos when the club's passage to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley against Southampton was sealed.

John Ward pays price for Carlisle Uniteds disastrous runGrayson also claimed that Leeds goalkeeper Casper Ankergren was pelted with missiles during the game and there were also suggestions that a laser was used to put off his teammates during the shoot-out.

'I'm not concerned that the club might get into trouble but the directors might be,' Abbott said.

'I am hoping it didn't spoil anything and that there was no harm done there. It is not great but our lads looked after Leeds players as well.

'I hope it was excitement and nothing nasty. I am bothered because it tarnishes what everyone has achieved but I can't put too much of a dampener on it because it looked not too bad and I hope I am right by saying that.'

As for prospects of a visit to Wembley next month against League One side Southampton, Abbott is understandably excited because it will be his first visit to the stadium as a player or manager.

'It's the proudest moment of my career. I didn't get close to what I call the Mecca of football as a player. I have walked past it a few times but never been invited in so it will be a real high for me,' Abbott, 46, said.

'But it gives everyone a boost the town, the club the players. The whole town needed one and it will make everyone a lot happier and we will get 20-25,000 there at Wembley who will enjoy a day out because of what my players have achieved. It will keep us going. The season is alive and kicking now so we are a buzzing.'

Officials at Carlisle have pledged to investigate Grayson's claims but Cumbria Police have defended their handling of the situation after he complained about the way they dealt with the marauding fans.

Chief Inspector Mark Pannone said: 'We had some minor disorder, which we were able to deal with. People worry about Leeds playing, but for the importance of the game I think the majority of fans behaved themselves quite well."

Source: Telegraph