A MAN who invaded the pitch during a Chester FC home match has been handed a three-year Football Banning Order.

Elliott Robert Taylor, 25, of Normandy Crescent, Huntington, Chester, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to the sole charge of going on to the playing area at a football match without lawful excuse.

Prosecuting, Kirsty Linforth said it was on April 15 when Chester FC, playing at the Deva Stadium on Bumpers Lane, were in action against Kidderminster Harriers for a National League North match.

It was at about 4.10pm when Chester FC scored the opening goal of the game and a police officer noticed Taylor, while celebrating in the home section of fans, had climbed over the waist-height wall on to the pitch, taking a half-drunk pint of beer with him.

He headed towards the away supporters and threw the remainder of his pint in the direction of the supporters, while goading, jumping around and shouting towards them.

The away supporters reacted "angrily" and tried, in their section to get closer to Taylor.

Stewards went out to stop Taylor getting any closer to the away supporters, and Taylor ran around the pitch for a short while before giving up and being escorted from the pitch.

Taylor had one previous conviction, for being drunk and disorderly.

The prosecution sought a Football Banning Order as Taylor's conduct was "clearly in question".

Defending himself, Taylor said: "I am sorry about it."

Asked about the impact of a potential FBO, Taylor replied: "I am not even a Chester fan, it's not a concern."

Magistrates imposed a three-year FBO, meaning Taylor cannot attend any football fixture in the next three years. Magistrates advised Taylor that, under the terms of the FBO, he would be prohibited from being in Chester city centre four hours before or after any Chester FC home game, and cannot be in the respective town/city centre where Chester FC play away fixtures.

He must also report to a police station within five days, and the FBO may require Taylor to surrender his passport for England international fixtures, and may impose additional requirements on him in relation to any regulated football matches.

Chair of magistrates Paul Storrar told Taylor: "If this was a bit of a silly thing to do, the consequences of what you did could have been extremely serious, effectively inciting the other supporters.

"The police have asked us to consider a FBO, and we have to consider whether it would help prevent violence or disorder. You have something of a problem with alcohol and we do believe that granting this order could help.

"When you attend the police station, they will go through with you the exact details.

"You are not to enter Chester city centre four hours before or four hours after a home game, you cannot go anywhere near the Deva Stadium on matchday, and when Chester are playing away you cannot go there, and there are additional clauses regarding national games.

"You need to be aware of when Chester are playing home and away, and England games."

Taylor was also fined £200 and ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.