Pitch invasion mars Villa cup win

Published: Saturday 7th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Fabian Delph has labelled the pitch invasion at the end of Aston Villa’s FA Cup quarter-final win as “very, very scary”.

Villa are likely to face a Football Association investigation after two pitch invasions at the end of their 2-0 victory over West Brom.

Seats were thrown from the Albion fans and a pitch invasion delayed the game before Villa fans ran onto the surface again at the final whistle.

Both teams were surrounded by fans and midfielder Delph, who scored his first goal for a year to give Villa the lead, admitted it was unnerving.

“Very, very scary,” he told the BBC.

“My armband got nicked, someone got my left boot, but I could appreciate the relief the fans are feeling after a result like that.

“It was dangerous. Someone tried to take my boot off. People tried to kiss me and were biting me. It was scary.”

Albion boss Tony Pulis insisted Villa should have recognised the potential problems ahead of the game.

He said: “I actually think Villa should look at the stewarding. It’s a quarter-final of the FA Cup, a full house, you know it’s going to be tasty. You should have stewards but the hierarchy at Villa should recognise the need for stewards both ends of the pitch.

“It puts the players at danger and we don’t want to see that. We were seeing it in the 1970s and 80s and we don’t want to get back to that.

“I’m sure the FA will look at it without me poking my nose in too much.”

Tim Sherwood defended the hosts’ stewarding – despite fans lining up on the side of the pitch before the end – and insisted emotions were running high.

“What can you do? The stewards did their best, I saw them rugby tackle a few guys, but when they are coming on in such numbers it’s difficult to stem it,” he said.

“I can’t condone the fans entering the field, but I have to be totally honest I can understand their emotions, they’ve just beaten their local rivals twice in a week and once in the quarter-final of the FA Cup, so the emotions are running very, very high.

“But like I say, the club wouldn’t condone that sort of action, especially if anyone was touched.”

On the pitch Scott Sinclair wrapped up the win with a second goal after Claudio Yacob had been sent off for the Baggies after a challenge with Leandro Bacuna. Villa’s Jack Grealish was also dismissed in injury time after collecting a second yellow card for diving

Pulis said: “That’s (Yacob) not a sending off.

“Yac has had three touches before he blows up. I thought the linesman had said something but I have spoken to Anthony (Taylor, referee) and he has made the decision.

“I don’t know what Grealish got sent off for, I was amazed when he showed him the red card.”

Sherwood added: “It’s huge and the players want to dedicate it to the fans, the fans have had some hard times here and everyone at the club realises we need them.”

Published: Saturday 7th March 2015 by The News Editor

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