POLICE have charged two men after football fans allegedly set off a flare and assaulted a steward at an Albion game.

The arrests came after Albion’s match against Aston Villa at the Amex Stadium on Saturday. The match was attended by 30,500 fans and ended in a 1–1 draw.

Thomas Carter, 28, a gas fitter, of Coleridge Close, Goring, has been charged with assaulting a club steward by beating.

The steward required medical attention for minor injuries.

John McAuliffe, 51, a carpenter, of New End, Redditch, Worcestershire, has been charged under the Football Offences Act with setting off a flare.

Both men are due to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on February 6.

A man aged 23 and a boy aged 17 have been identified in relation to separate incidents.

In one, a water bottle was allegedly thrown at other fans and in another, a flare was thrown on to the pitch during the game.

Police are also investigating a reported assault on a 56-year-old man from Bedford just outside the stadium.

He received cuts and bruises as he was leaving the match.

No arrests have been made.

PC Darren Balkham, the force’s Football Liaison Officer, said: “We worked in close co-operation with the club and safety stewards to ensure these isolated incidents were safely and effectively dealt with and enquiries are continuing where necessary.

“They didn’t reflect the superb support from more than 99 per cent of fans from both clubs.”