Football fans clashed at a non league ground only minutes after stewards were warned trouble was brewing.
There had been no hint of trouble among the 978 fans at the Matlock Town v FC United of Manchester game in Derbyshire on Saturday, in the first half.
But in the second half a group of men, apparently Matlock followers, suddenly congregated at one side of an end covered terrace filled with most of the 500-plus travelling Manchester fans.
Suddenly punches were thrown and stewards struggled to keep the factions apart.
One home fan, was restrained by stewards, who began to try and escort him away ...but incredibly they led him straight towards the main a group of FC fans who were claiming he was a ringleader.
One FC fan punched the home supporter in the face, while his arms seemed to be pinned behind him by security staff.
One Worksop-based United fan said: “The stewards were warned in no uncertain terms that there was something brewing when this second group of fans suddenly appeared in the stand.
“When it kicked off, there was nowhere near as many stewards around as necessary to deal with it.”
Another Middlewood, Sheffield-based United fan said: “Proper Non league football fans in general and FC United, specifically, wants nothing to do with violence.
“Matlock is one of the most pleasant and welcoming places normally, it’s a shame that was spoiled, even for just a few moments.”
Five or six uniformed police officers turned up on the terraces, but after a few moments, left the immediate scene and stood by the exit gate.
“Most people couldn’t understand why they arrived - and then left the area where the tension was” said a fan.
“I asked the police why the situation was allowed to build up - and one just shrugged and said it was the stewards’ job.”
A Derbyshire police spokesman said: “We did have an incident reported to us of some minor crowd trouble after a drink was thrown. Qfficers attended and the situation calmed down and resolved itself and no complaints were made to police.
“Officers remained in the area after the game and visited local pubs but there was no more trouble. No one was arrested and no injuries were reported to us.”
The Evo Stik league match ended 1-1.