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West Brom 0-2 Wolves: Crowd trouble overshadows win
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Andy Hampson
Press Association
The stadium’s big screen displays a message asking for fans to return to their seats (Bradley Collyer/PA)
The stadium’s big screen displays a message asking for fans to return to their seats (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Crowd trouble marred Wolves’ FA Cup victory over fierce Black Country rivals West Brom at The Hawthorns on Sunday.

The game was suspended for over half an hour after problems erupted soon after Matheus Cunha had fired the visitors into a 2-0 lead with 12 minutes remaining.

West Brom’s Kyle Bartley went into the crowd to take out his children amid the ugly scenes, which occurred in the corner of the West Stand and Birmingham Road End.

It was part of the ground which theoretically should have been holding solely home supporters but there was a lot of pushing and shoving, with some fans spilling onto the pitch.

Police and security rushed over to the area to quell the problems but it was a long time before order could be restored and both teams were taken back to the dressing rooms.

It was the first meeting between the clubs in front of supporters since 2012 and had been designated high risk, with security increased and the kick-off scheduled for 11.45am.

There had already been pockets of trouble with flares thrown towards the pitch by Wolves fans after Pedro Neto had opened the scoring in the 38th minute.

There were further problems when objects were thrown towards Wolves’ Tommy Doyle as he prepared to take a corner in the second half.

The incidents completely overshadowed what had been a hard-fought and absorbing fourth-round tie and afterwards the Football Association condemned the disorder as “completely unacceptable” in a statement issued shortly after the match.

“Safety and security are of utmost importance and the behaviour of those involved is dangerous and inexcusable. We will be investigating these serious incidents alongside the clubs and relevant authorities and the appropriate action will be taken.”

West Brom were dangerous on the break in the first half but failed to seriously trouble Jose Sa in the Wolves goal.

Wolves had plenty of possession but failed to create meaningful chances until breaking from a corner to take the lead in the latter stages of the first half.

Matt Doherty found space in the middle and released Neto, who cut inside from the right and fired a shot into the bottom corner after an ineffective challenge from John Swift.

West Brom tried to respond but Max Kilman blocked a Jed Wallace effort and Sa saved from Swift early in the second half.

The Baggies also appealed for a penalty after Brandon Thomas-Asante tangled in the area with Kilman but nothing was given and Thomas-Asante scooped a good chance over.

Tempers threatened to boil over after Bartley crudely blocked Cunha in an attempt to halt a Wolves attack.

Jean-Ricner Bellegarde curled an effort narrowly wide for Wolves and emotions did then spill over after Cunha raced onto a Kilman ball to fire the killer goal through Josh Griffiths’ legs.

It soon became apparent there was a serious problem in the stands as Wolves celebrated.

As the delay grew longer, referee Thomas Bramall took the players off the field and it was half an hour before they returned to warm up and restart the game.

The players went through the motions as they played out the closing stages of the game, Wolves holding on for their first win at the ground since 1996.


FA CupWest BromwichWolverhampton Wanderers
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