A football club has condemned the actions of fans after a match was “marred” by “homophobic abuse”, “smoke bombs”, “smashed chairs” and pitch invasions.

It comes after Sussex Police had to intervene at today’s Whitehawk vs Littlehampton Town game at The Enclosed Ground.

Whitehawk FC said there is “no place” for “violence, bigotry and threatening behaviour” and said it would be speaking to Littlehampton Town about what took place.

A spokesman from Littlehampton Town said there were incidents involving both sets of supporters and described its “disappointment”.

A Whitehawk spokesman said: “Whitehawk FC are saddened by the behaviour of a number of Littlehampton Town fans at today’s match and apologise to our own supporters for what occurred.

“Despite the precautions we put in place, the match was marred by firecrackers, smoke bombs, flares, homophobic abuse, smashed chairs and fans entering the field of play.

“We wish to make clear there is no place for violence, bigotry and threatening behaviour within the beautiful game, and we are speaking to the opposition about what took place.

“Whitehawk FC operate a zero tolerance policy towards any abuse at The Enclosed Ground and are fully committed to our indefatigable value that football is for all.

“We thank Sussex Police for their assistance in responding speedily and preventing any further disorder. We will provide an update in due course, and a full report will be issued to the Isthmian League and the Football Association.”

A Littlehampton Town spokesman said: “Littlehampton Town FC are disappointed there have been several incidents involving both sets of supporters at this afternoon's game at Whitehawk.

“We are bitterly disappointed at the use of smoke bombs and firecrackers when we have made it clear before that it is unacceptable and against the law to use them inside a football ground.

“We have witnessed a missile thrown from a Whitehawk supporter which stuck a Littlehampton Town committee member. In addition, there were a number of Whitehawk fans who entered the field of play to confront our supporters during the game which escalated the situation.

“Our safety officer has already spoken with Sussex Police regarding the incidents and will continue to do so over the coming days. We shall also speak with Whitehawk FC over the next few days with regards to the incidents today.

“We shall make no further comment until we have spoken with all the relevant parties.”

Tweets from Whitehawk FC described how the match descended into chaos.

One tweet read at 63 minutes in: “Grim scenes here as a few fans storm the pitch, halting proceedings once more.

“Police getting involved as the game itself descends into an attrition battle.”

The Hawks were eventually defeated 3-1 following the “unsettling afternoon”.