Football: Brighton in trouble

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Brighton supporters protesting outside the Blackburn home of the club's chairman Bill Archer last night had more cause for anger, after the Football Association charged the Third Division side with failing to control spectators following crowd trouble against Lincoln on Tuesday.

Protesting fans spilled on to the pitch twice during the Seagulls' 3- 1 defeat at the Goldstone Ground, both times after Lincoln had scored. There was another invasion at the final whistle, when around 50 supporters made their way to the centre circle for a further brief protest against the club's beleaguered board. Now the FA could invoke the suspended sentence hanging over Brighton following the crowd disturbances which forced the abandonment of the game with York in April. That would mean the south coast club being forced to play one match behind closed doors as well as having three League points deducted. The FA acted after examining reports from the referee, Steve Bennett, and its own representative at the game, John Davey.

The FA charge came just hours after it was announced that Portsmouth were insisting that a legal agreement has not been reached on the plan to take Brighton to Fratton Park for a year if they could not find a new home in Sussex by the time they are forced to vacate the Goldstone at the end of the season.