POLICE have launched an investigation to try and find out who was responsible for throwing a maritime distress flare on to the pitch during Stevenage Boro s FA Trophy clash with Ebbsfleet United at the Lamex Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The flare was lo
POLICE have launched an investigation to try and find out who was responsible for throwing a maritime distress flare on to the pitch during Stevenage Boro's FA Trophy clash with Ebbsfleet United at the Lamex Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The flare was lobbed from outside the ground between the visiting supporters' stand and the main stand towards the end of the semi-final first leg thriller that Stevenage won 3-2.
The flare landed close to Boro's penalty area and club security staff allowed it to burn itself out before it was kicked from the field of play by an Ebbsfleet player.
Security staff and officers from Herts and Kent police who were at the game mingled with fans outside the ground after the match in an attempt to find the culprit, believed to be a visiting supporter.
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Boro chief executive Bob Makin said it was lucky nobody either a player or supporter was struck by the flare which could have caused serious injury.
"From where the person threw the flare they couldn't have seen where it landed. Had it struck a player or gone into the crowd somebody could have been seriously injured," said Mr Makin.
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"We are obviously taking the incident very seriously and hope the person responsible is caught and we will help the police in any investigation. The flare was lobbed over the concessions bar between the two stands, we believe by an Ebbsfleet supporter.
"Two Kent police officers had travelled to the game and were with the Ebbsfleet fans so perhaps they can find out who was responsible for this disgraceful incident."
Head of security at the Lamex Stadium, Steve Fanthorpe, said: "In all the intelligence we had received there was no risk identified from visiting fans. There were no issues we were worried about.
"We remain in contact with Herts police and they will talk to the Kent police officers, who were at the ground as observers, to see whether we can find out who was responsible for this incident.