BUSTLEHOLME manager Scott Holden claimed the mass brawl that ended Tuesday’s match with Worcester Raiders had been started by a punch thrown at one of his players.

Both teams were involved in a melee with at least six supporters encroaching onto the pitch, some of whom threw punches at Bustleholme players.

WATCH | Mass brawl sees Raiders' 3-1 win at Bustleholme end in farce

Holden admitted to having tangled with “their number two” but insisted he had not been hit or thrown any punches and that apologies were offered and accepted afterwards.

In a spiky finish with opposing players seeking out confrontations with each other off the ball, many from each side became embroiled in a melee.

People from both benches raced on to the pitch but just as things appeared to be calming down, a member of the crowd made a break for it before Raiders players and staff attempted to restrain him.

More from the crowd followed and punches were thrown at two

Bustleholme players, including stand-in goalkeeper Rikki Danton, before staff from both clubs managed to bring an end to the farce.

Referee Pete Durnall decided to end the match with around two minutes of added time played but there was only a single blast of the whistle from the man in the middle rather than the standard three.

“There was a challenge where a 16-year-old kid blatantly got hit from behind, it was not from the front and it cleaned him out,” said Holden.

“He (the perpetrator) threw a punch across his face and knocked him over. Then another of their players came into a challenge with ours, a 50-50 challenge I would say.

“I ran on to the pitch to stop it and their number two came across and grabbed me so I grabbed him. It was a bit of a farce really.

“It was handbags but we all shook hands at the end.

“From a club perspective it should not have happened that way, it just got a bit hot headed.

“We had a number of 16-year-olds on there and it was not a comfortable thing for them, we have to look at child welfare.”

AS IT HAPPENED | Bustleholme 1 Raiders 3

Holden felt alcohol had played a part in supporters getting involved but added that there should be “no hard feelings”.

“Their fans were drinking and had brought their own beer on to our premises where we sell alcohol. They had been drinking all day by the look of it and continued to while in the stands,” said Holden.

“I think the booze had more to do with their supporters running on. I did not see how many went on, there were a few.

“It was a good game and they were a good side, they play some decent football. I thought we matched them until the end when it got a little bit silly.

“I don’t want to see anyone fined or anything like that, it was all just the heat of the moment. They reacted, we reacted, I would like to think we would both just get a slap on the wrist and a warning of worse if it happens again.

“They brought good support with them and it was just a silly thing at the end of the game. There are no hard feelings towards them or the club.”

Asked about his confrontation, Holden replied: “He did not throw any punches and I didn’t throw any punches at him, it was more pushing away.

“I spoke to him at the end. We both apologised and shook hands so that was it.”

Holden confirmed Bustleholme had not involved police in the matter and do not plan to.

Raiders chairman Kevin Jenkins indicated he wished to look into what had happened before commenting publicly.