FOOTBALL fans arriving in Brighton for Albion’s cup clash with Crystal Palace last night were greeted by a ring of steel.

The last time the two clubs met in the Premier League back in November, the match was marred by violence off the pitch and numerous arrests were made.

Yesterday police were taking no chances.

And their high visibility approach seemed to work, as the third round FA Cup tie passed off virtually trouble free.

Before kick-off at the Brighton Station, officers on horseback watched fans of the south London club arrive in the city.

Many police officers were recording the events unfolding on camera phones attached to selfie sticks.

Some Palace fans took no chances – bringing with them passport identification to make sure they had no problems getting into the ground.

“It’s the first football game I’ve brought my passport to get me in,” said Mark Knowles, 26, from South East London.

“You can definitely feel something the air. But I’m hoping there is no trouble, that’s the last thing you want to see.”

As fans walked from Falmer station into the ground they were greeted by a show of force from police dog handlers.

For one Crystal Palace fan the police presence was too much and he still felt hard done by the way their fans were treated last game.

Sean Mulholland, 54, who travelled down from Croydon, said: “This is massively out of proportion. A couple of people got hurt, no one wants to see that happen. It’s nonsense.”

Palace supporter Martin Pelosi, 43, from Horsham, said: “This level of police should have happened in the first game.

“I have nothing against the police, but it is the guys in the charge who should have pre-empted the trouble outside the ground beforehand.

“They should have had a contingency plan in place at the turnstiles when we couldn’t get in.

“You need to be cautious, but you don’t need this.

“I’ve seen far less police in places where there’s definitely been a lot more violence.”

After the final whistle, the travelling fans were kept back inside the stadium for around 20 minutes.

One away supporter said: “It was a trouble free game off the pitch and that’s good to see.

“The majority of fans came here to see a great football match.

“And that’s what happened.

“It’s just a real shame about the result.”