Trouble flares at Loftus Road

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Trouble flared and spectators spilled on to the pitch at Loftus Road yesterday, forcing the Nationwide League First Division match between Queen's Park Rangers and Portsmouth to be halted eight minutes into the second half. Fighting broke out between rival supporters and supporters spilled on to the pitch to escape the trouble.

The referee, Kevin Lynch, had no option but to stop the game and he sent the players back to the safety of the dressing-room while the police attempted to restore order. After a 15- minute interruption, QPR went on to win 2-1.

Fans also found themselves on the pitch at Maine Road, where Manchester City's First Division game against Stoke was delayed after a fire alarm went off in a stand. The fire brigade evacuated a quarter of the stand, ordering spectators to stand on the side of the pitch until they could give the all clear. The game, which City won 2-0, started 15 minutes late and City won 2-0.