Two Rotherham supporters have been arrested after an Accrington Stanley player was assaulted during Saturday’s League One game at New York Stadium.
Accrington manager John Coleman claimed the match should have been abandoned after Harry Pell was assaulted before missing from the spot in their 1-0 defeat by the league leaders.
The drama all happened in the closing stages with Pell having his 89th-minute penalty saved by Josh Vickers, moments after Rotherham fans had run on to the pitch with one appearing to strike the midfielder.
Coleman, who confirmed Pell was the player assaulted, said: “I have never seen anything like that in my life. I was expecting the game to be abandoned.
“It’s one of those situations where Pelly is desperate to take it because he has been assaulted as well. Was it the right thing to do? It’s easy to be wise after the event. He has not meant to miss the penalty.
“I feel physically sick. I am beat and I have nothing more to offer. I can not fight back. I can not criticize. I am proud of how the players played today.
“It was a classic away performance. In the second half we gave everything we’ve got. We tested their keeper and hit the post late on. We did not deserve to lose the game, but we have. I’m sure the authorities will do what they have to do. “
Rotherham boss Paul Warne said: “I am hugely embarrassed. It’s awful because I do not get to talk about how good we were defending the box, how good the penalty save was or the last-ditch defending was. I can only apologize on on behalf of the club and I have apologized to all their staff.There is no way I can justify that.
“After the penalty, we were hanging on for dear life and those eight added minutes seemed to last forever. It’s a really good three points against a real difficult team to play against and beat.”
Rotherham confirmed the pitch invaders have also been banned permanently from the club.
“Rotherham United are incredibly disappointed to once again be issuing a post-match statement to condemn the actions of two of our so-called supporters for their behavior during our Sky Bet League One fixture against Accrington Stanley at AESSEAL New York Stadium,” a statement read.
“Following crowd-related incidents in the recent games against Fleetwood Town and Crewe Alexandra, which have subsequently been investigated, we are embarrassed to once again be commenting on the behavior of some fans, who absolutely do not represent the majority or what we stand for as a club.
“On an afternoon on which we should be celebrating the team’s success on the field, we are disappointed to be commenting on the actions of individuals in the stand.
“The two culprits have been identified by the club and arrested for their actions by South Yorkshire Police. They will be banned permanently from AESSEAL New York Stadium and are no longer welcome at Rotherham United.
“The club will be making no further comment at this time.”
Sky Sports News are in contact with South Yorkshire Police for further updates.