POLICE will be stepping up patrols this weekend following disorder after a Chester FC fixture last Saturday.

Chester FC played an away fixture against Darlington on Saturday, February 12 and, before the game, it was reported that a large group of Chester supporters were involved in disorder in Darlington town centre.

A group of about 25 people, believed to be Chester fans, who were dressed in black and wearing black face masks were spotted shouting, chanting and pushing each other in Skinnergate.

However, police later escorted a group of people from the town centre to the football ground.

Enquiries are ongoing with Durham Police to identify and trace those involved in the disturbance, although our sister title The Northern Echo reports that as of yet, no arrests have yet been made.

A Durham Constabulary spokeswoman said: “Dedicated patrols were deployed in Darlington on Saturday ahead of the match between Darlington FC and Chester.

“Shortly after midday, officers were alerted to a group of males causing a disturbance within the town centre.

“They were contained, escorted from the town centre toward the football ground and stop searched, before leaving Darlington ahead of kick-off.

“Patrols remained at the ground and the surrounding area throughout the match and after the final whistle. No arrests were made.”

However, upon the return of some fans to Chester city centre, a further disturbance is reported to have taken place.

As a result, a 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and a 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of affray. Both have since been released under investigation.

Further enquiries in relation to the incident are ongoing by Cheshire Police.

For the upcoming Chester FC fixture on Saturday 19 February against Hereford FC, fans will see a considerable policing presence to ensure that those visiting the city and attending the game can do so safely.

Officers are reminding fans to attend and watch the game peaceably and with consideration for those around them.

Anyone with any concerns can raise them by visiting https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report/ or call 101.

In an emergency, always call 999.

Chester FC, in a club statement, said: "Chester Football Club wish to advise supporters there will be a considerable policing presence in place at Saturday’s National League North game against Hereford, to ensure that those visiting Chester and attending the game can do so safely and without disruption.

"In conjunction with Cheshire Police, we would appeal to all fans attending to watch the game peaceably and with consideration for local businesses, the local community and those going about their normal business."