I have been reading the articles relating to the Linfield v Glentoran match on Saturday and am alarmed by what I feel is a glaring ommision of perhaps the most newsworthy event that occured at the ground.
From a very early stage of the match, items were being thrown from the North Stand and Kop onto the playing area — some coming dangerously close to the officials and players.
As the first half progressed, both sets of 'supporters' started throwing fireworks. From the North Stand, they were being thrown towards the pitch, and from the Kop they were being propelled into the North Stand. If someone was hit by a firework, the damage could be horrendous. At half-time, I sought out stewards to ask them to try and calm the situation. Most of them said they had been stationed outside the stand and were not allowed to enter the main seated area of the North Stand. After the trouble during the Boxing Day game last year, both clubs were fortunate to avoid heavy punishment. As a Glentoran fan of 26 years, it pains me to say this, but it is about time that strong action was taken against both clubs.
The fines that were discussed at the beginning of the year must be imposed — as must the Boxing Day ban unless adequate security measures can be enforced. For the future of the local game, this short-term punishment must be upheld.