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Fans warned to behave ahead of Colchester match

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:58 06 July 2010

Fans have been warned ahead of Norwich City's game against Colchester United

Fans have been warned ahead of Norwich City's game against Colchester United

Peter Walsh

Norwich fans heading to Colchester for this weekend's eagerly anticipated League One grudge match have been urged to be on their best behaviour by police who warned they would tackle any troublemakers.

Norwich fans heading to Colchester for this weekend's eagerly anticipated League One grudge match have been urged to be on their best behaviour by police who warned they would tackle any troublemakers.

The high flying Canaries' will be heading to Essex on Saturday to take on Colchester United in a crunch League One encounter at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

City, who lost 7-1 to Colchester on the opening day of the season, will be hoping to avenge that record-breaking home defeat which was masterminded by current Norwich boss Paul Lambert.

Lambert left Colchester just 10 days later along with assistant Ian Culverhouse and football operations manager Gary Karsa to help rebuild Norwich's shattered season.

The move sparked a bitter compensation row between both clubs, which is set to end with a Football League tribunal later this season, and prompted angry Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling to refuse to increase the Canaries' ticket allocation for this weekend's clash.

And with emotions running high for the crunch clash, police have today called on supporters travelling to the game to keep their heads - or face the consequences.

Chief Inspector Phil Wilkinson, from British Transport Police, said: “Anyone who engages in football-related criminal offences on the rail network should know that we will actively seek to apply for Football Banning Orders from the courts.”

He added: “BTP officers will be on duty at Norwich, Ipswich and Colchester stations in order to ensure the safe and orderly movements of football fans on the rail network.”

Superintendant Iain Logan from Essex Police said he hopes it will be a memorable day for all the right reasons. He said: “We will give a warm welcome to fans attending, but also be in a position to deal with any disorder.”

City fans travelling to Essex by train will pass through Ipswich, who are at home to Coventry City on Saturday, prompting another security headache for regional police chiefs.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said there would be a “high visibility presence” at Ipswich railway station at key times on Saturday.

In 2007, as many as 17 Ipswich fans were involved in a battle against Norwich fans at Ipswich railway station on March 31. City fans were returning from their game at Colchester when they clashed with Ipswich fans whose team had been at home to Plymouth on the same day.

There are fears there could be a repeat of the violence with some Ipswich supporters on the club's Facebook page taunting Norwich supporters who will be in town.

The Suffolk Police spokeswoman added: “We would urge fans of Ipswich and Norwich to behave respectfully and responsibly. There will be a zero tolerance approach to any anti-social behaviour.”

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