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20 October 2012, 09:53
Leeds United and South Yorkshire Police are working together to try to apprehend those responsible for the trouble which marred last night's match at Sheffield Wednesday.
The flashpoint of a stormy night was the 77th-minute assault of Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, who was pushed in the face by a supporter who ran from the Leppings Lane End - which housed around 5,000 Leeds fans - in the wake of Michael Tonge's equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
The incident prompted Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones to brand Leeds supporters "vile animals'' in post-match interviews.
The 56-year-old, who called for Leeds fans to be banned from "every ground in the country'', was also upset by chants relating to the child abuse charges that were made against him, but subsequently dropped more than a decade ago, and others which heralded the late Jimmy Savile, who is now the subject of a child abuse investigation.
Leeds quickly released a statement after the match which read: "The club will fully co-operate with the police and the football authorities in identifying the individual concerned.''
And Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin of South Yorkshire Police added: "During tonight's match, Sheffield Wednesday versus Leeds United at Hillsborough, incidents occurred where it is believed seats and bottles were thrown inside the ground. "We are also aware of an incident whereby the Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper has been assaulted by an individual who ran onto the pitch. "Such incidents are not acceptable and won't be tolerated. We will be working with both clubs to identify and quickly bring to justice the persons responsible.''
The bottle throwing occurred midway through the second half, with the Leeds fans seemingly reacting to chants from the home fans relating to the deaths of two Leeds supporters in Turkey in April 2000.
Immediately after the game, Leeds manager Neil Warnock told Sky Sports he felt that Kirkland had gone down too easily, but later called on the culprit to be jailed.
He said: "It's just so sad and disappointing. If anything it stopped us winning the game. I thought at 1-1 we would get in the driving seat but for one moron. "The club has made a statement and I'm pleased, we don't condone that. I hope the authorities and constabulary take the appropriate action. Get him sent to prison and stop it.''
At the end of a game during which Tonge and Jay Bothroyd traded goals, the Leeds players headed to the Leppings Lane End to applaud their supporters - an act which only served to anger Jones further. "I really am fuming that he (Warnock) sent his players to clap them,'' Jones said. "For what? Wrecking a stadium, beating up my goalkeeper? "They (Leeds) need to clean their house and get it in order. And they should be banned from every away ground until they sort it out.''
Warnock said: "Dave is disappointed with not winning the game. Dave says a lot, he's looking that he's lost two points. You get a little bit carried away. I've been with Dave before and you do get upset if you don't get the right result as a manager and you have to take it with a pinch of salt. "You don't mention anything detrimental about your own side or fans and I can't blame him for that because of the run they're on.''