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10 August 2011, 05:47
23,00 football fans who went to last night’s Carling Cup match at the City Ground have been praised by senior police officers.
On a night when most football matches were cancelled in London, a decision was taken by the Force to allow the game to go ahead, despite fears that there would be a second night’s violent disorder, stretching police resources.
But despite a tense game on the pitch ( it was 2-2 at full time, 3-3 at the of extra time, and then Forest won 4-3 on penalties), there wasn’t a single incident of disorder either before, during or after the match.
Superintendent Mark Holland, who was the silver commander for managing all incidents of disorder overnight for the Force, praised the fans.
He said: “They were an absolute credit to the city of Nottingham and county of Nottinghamshire and to every true sports fan in the country.
“This was the first game between the two teams for 19 years; there was much at stake and amid such tension it was possible that emotions could have spilled over.
“But the fans behaved impeccably and it was a pleasure to police the match.”
With the agreement of both clubs, a message was read to fans on the PA system just before the 7.45pm kick-off explaining why the Force had decided the game should go ahead.
Some areas have tonight seen their football fixtures cancelled because of violent disturbances across the country.
Thankfully that is not the case here in Nottingham. We know you want this game to go ahead, along with both clubs and the support of Nottinghamshire Police.
Last night, there were a number of sporadic but serious acts of criminal damage in the city. Nottinghamshire Police are deploying a large number of officers to deter any further trouble and will deal robustly with any violent disturbances.
You are supporters of two great football clubs but you are united by one fantastic city and county of Nottinghamshire.
We want you to enjoy the game tonight, but then go home safely and walk away from any sign of trouble or disorder. We would urge you to support the police and come forward with any information about those responsible for causing trouble.
As the statement was read out, all 23,000 fans rose to their feet and broke out in a spontaneous round of applause.
Supt Holland said: “Their response was absolutely brilliant. We were determined the game should go ahead and the mindless minority should not be able to ruin an event that fans have looked forward to for 19 years. They were a total credit to the city and county.”