AN ALBION supporter who punched a fellow fan at a Crystal Palace match has been banned from attending matches.

James Raynor, from Shoreham, attended the derby match at the Amex stadium on January 14.

At the end of the game, the 47-year-old wanted to get past a fellow supporter in the North Stand, but there was no room to pass.

The 41-year-old victim tried to explain the situation to Raynor, but was pushed against his seat, trapping his son behind him.

When he tried to make space, Raynor assaulted him further, police said.

Raynor, of Cissbury Way, Shoreham, was identified to police and he was arrested by officers on suspicion of assault.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court, he admitted assault by beating and causing criminal damage.

The court imposed a conditional discharge and ordered Raynor to pay £194 compensation to the victim, as well as £85 costs and a £22 victim surcharge.

Raynor was also given a three-year Football Banning Order, which prevents him attending football matches in the UK, and also restricts his ability to travel abroad while the England men’s team are playing.

Sussex Police’s Football Officer Police Constable Sam Smith said: “This was a frightening incident for the victim who was left in fear of his own safety and for the safety of his son.

“Rather than waiting patiently to exit the stadium, Raynor tried to charge past when there was no space to do so.

“It caused the victim’s son to be trapped against the seat. When the victim tried to make some space, Raynor punched him.

“By his own admission, Raynor had attended the game with his own sons and a friend, and had consumed four pints of alcohol before the game.

“This assault was completely unnecessary and witnessed by children. Thanks to the work of club staff and police officers we were able to quickly arrest Raynor.

“This case demonstrates our determination to catch offenders, and should be a warning that we will not tolerate violence by supporters attending the stadium that ruins the experience for others.

“We want to ensure that the Amex Stadium is a safe place for everyone to attend and enjoy the game.”

A Brighton and Hove Albion spokesman said: “We welcome the verdict and thank Sussex Police and the court for their support in prosecuting the offender.

“We have always made very clear that we have a zero tolerance policy towards anti-social behaviour of this type, and this is yet another reminder that alongside Sussex Police we will take very strong action against anyone responsible for such behaviour.

"So in addition to the punishment handed down by the court, he will also face a significant ban from all home and away Brighton & Hove Albion fixtures.”