Newcastle to punish pitch invaders
Newcastle have issued a statement condemning the behaviour of supporters who invaded the pitch during Friday evening's 2-0 pre-season friendly win at Darlington.
The Magpies vowed to take "the strongest possible action" against fans who caused a 10-minute delay in the match with their celebrations to Sammy Ameobi's second goal in the 55th minute. The match looked in danger of being called off as scenes turned ugly at The Darlington Arena and, although calm was eventually restored, the guilty parties can expect repercussions.
A statement from the club's managing director Derek Llambias 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 (July 15)."
It added: "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."
Hatem Ben Arfa made his first appearance since his horror leg break at Manchester City last October as Newcastle boss Alan Pardew named a strong line-up for the team's first pre-season game.
Captain Joey Barton, who will miss the tour of North America after being denied a visa, opened the scoring in the third minute when he knocked home a cross from Leon Best before substitute Ameobi drilled home a fine shot 10 minutes into the second half.
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