Police issue warning ahead of derby clash

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The police have issued a warning to would-be troublemakers ahead of the game between Ballymena United and Coleraine.

The rivals go head-to-head at the Ballymena Showgrounds in the semi final of the League Cup at 7:45pm on Tuesday.

Inspector Heather Scott, Neighbourhood Policing Team Ballymena said: “We will have extra police on duty for this match, to offer reassurance to the fans and local residents and to prevent any disorder. We hope any rivalry between the two clubs stays friendly.

“The vast majority of supporters are only interested in seeing their side win and enjoying the match however, there is a small element intent on causing trouble and getting into fights, which ultimately brings the club they claim to support into disrepute.”

Inspector Scott added: “In order to ensure that the evening passes without incident, every match goer must be prepared to be searched prior to entering the grounds. Last year we saw people bringing knives and flares and this is unacceptable. If you are found to be in possession of a weapon or unauthorised object then there will be consequences. Our message is simple – troublemakers should stay away.”