Glasses and punches thrown during violent brawl between Palace and Albion fans

Albion fans had glasses hurled and punches thrown at them during a violent brawl with rival Palace supporters, a jury has heard.

The sparring rivals lobbed sandwich boards as they clashed in King's Cross following their separate teams' games on November 10.

Just two police officers had to try break up the hordes.

Eight Crystal Palace fans - including two from Sussex - are accused of violent disorder during the fight.

James Dean, 26, from Worthing and James Butler, 22, from Crawley, deny violent disorder alongside six other Palace fans.

They are alleged to have taken part in a brawl outside the Flying Scotsman, a pub and strip bar in Caledonian Road, where Palace fans were drinking after their team's win against Peterborough United earlier that day.

The court heard yesterday the Metropolitan Police deployed officers to Victoria station, where they anticipated trouble between rival fans returning home from a match in Wolverhampton.

Just two officers were on-hand when the fight broke out in King's Cross, where the Brighton fans headed after leaving a train at Euston.

Prosecutor Brendan Morris said the two groups may have arranged to meet to fight, which he said was "not unheard of".

He said: "Crystal Palace fans and their most fearsome rivals met in London for what was significant violent disorder in a public place.

"Historically Crystal Palace and Brighton fans have a long-running hatred but this incident took place when the two teams weren't playing each other.

"The rival groups managed to converge in London and meet up. The police anticipated trouble. The only mistake they made was going to the wrong venue.

"It was left to two lone officers, by themselves in the middle of a huge violent group, to try to separate the fans."

The jury watched video footage showing the brawl spilling out onto the road ahead of oncoming traffic, sandwich boards and traffic cones being lobbed, while police officers desperately try to intervene and the pub's landlord holds the door shut to keep brawling fans out.

At one point, a Brighton fan ran into the group of Palace fans and was repeatedly punched before being rescued by officers.

Mr Morris said Palace fans had chanted "we're top of the league" and Brighton supporters chanted "sea, sea, seasiders" before the fight broke out.

He said: "This was the grandstanding before sandwich boards and glasses, both plastic and pub glasses, were thrown. People fall on the floor and are kicked by several people."

The trial continues.


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