A Brighton fan who jumped on to the pitch side while celebrating his team’s goal in their FA Cup tie at Lincoln was today given a three year football banning order.
Matthew Clayton climbed over the boundary wall at Sincil Bank and ran behind the Lincoln net seconds after Richie Towell put the Seagulls ahead midway through the first half of the fourth round tie.
Dan Pietryka, prosecuting, told Lincoln Magistrates that Clayton then went back into the crowd but was arrested.
He said: “The incident took place at the Lincoln-Brighton game. Mr Clayton was with the visiting supporters when a goal was scored by Brighton.
“Various people were moving forward and he has entered the pitch side over the billboard.
“A steward has gone towards him and tried to detain him but has not managed to do that.
“The defendant has tried to get back into the stand. He has climbed over some seating and has been pointed out by the police. He was arrested.”
Clayton later told police he did not believe he had committed an offence as he did not actually enter the pitch.
But in court Clayton, 30, of Dingley Road, Rustington, West Sussex, admitted a charge of entering the playing area at a football match on January 28 in breach of the Football (Offences) Act.
He was fined £350 with £85 costs and a £35 victim surcharge as well as a three year football banning order. The order bans him from attending Premier League, EFL and National League football matches and from visiting any town or city on the day when Brighton are playing there.
Clayton, who represented himself, apologised to the court.
He said: “I travelled up and had four or five bottles of beer before the game. When Brighton scored in the heat of the moment I jumped over the wall. It was all over within five or 10 seconds.
“I was one of hundreds of people that unlawfully went on the playing area. I believe I was the only one who has been charged.
“I didn’t put player safety in danger. I made a mistake. It’s not like I planned to do it.”