Football fans in court after bottle and smoke bomb thrown at City match

A flare at Carrow Road

A flare was let off after Leicester scored its first goal during the Premier League match at Carrow Road. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

A Norwich fan has appeared in court after he threw a bottle onto the pitch in frustration after City had a late equaliser disallowed in a match against Leicester.

Harry Bland, 20, a Canaries season ticket holder, threw a bottle towards Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel in frustration.

It came after a Kenny McLean goal - which would have made the game 2-2 with about 10 minutes left - was ruled out by VAR.

Pretty Barber, prosecuting at Norwich Magistrates' Court, said the incident occurred during a Premier League clash at Carrow Road on August 28 this year.

Kenny McLean's header is disallowed for Norwich City with Todd Cantwell deemed to be offside by the officials.

The disallowed Kenny McLean goal at Carrow Road against Leicester City which caused supporter Harry Bland to throw a bottle onto the pitch. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

She said: “The defendant was seen to throw an empty Coca Cola bottle onto the pitch in front of the goalkeeper.

“The goalkeeper picked up the bottle and showed it to the referee.”

She said the incident, following the controversial VAR decision, was spotted by a steward and Bland admitted it and apologised before being arrested.

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Bland, of Long John Hill, Norwich, who has no previous convictions, appeared at court on Monday (October 4) when he admitted throwing a missile onto the pitch.

Representing himself in court, Bland said: “I can’t even explain it.

“I’ve been going for seven to eight years. I’m a season ticket holder and sit right at the front.”

Bland said the incident happened after Norwich’s equaliser was disallowed.

He said: “I was a bit annoyed. I threw my bottle. 

“I’m pretty sure I threw it underarm. I didn’t throe it at the goalkeeper, I just threw it.”.

Bland was fined £250, ordered to pay £105 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Also appearing at court on Monday was a Leicester City fan, Liam Burns, who threw a smoke bomb onto the pitch during the same game.

Leicester fan Liam Burns leaving Norwich Magistrates Court after admitting throwing a flare onto the pitch at Carrow Road.

Leicester fan Liam Burns leaving Norwich Magistrates Court after admitting throwing a flare onto the pitch during Norwich's defeat to the Foxes in August. - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk.

The court heard Burns threw the firework onto the pitch after Jamie Vardy put the Foxes 1-0 up early on during the Premier League encounter.

Miss Barber said: “Leicester had scored a goal and during the celebration the defendant stepped to the right and threw a blue smoking flare, over arm, towards the pitch."

The defendant was just yards from a police officer at the time and was arrested.

She also said the prosecution was looking to impose a three-year football banning order on the defendant, banning him from all football grounds over the period.

Burns, from Hinkley, Leicestershire, appeared in court on Monday (October 4) when he admitted throwing a missile onto the pitch during the match.

James Burrows, mitigating, said the defendant, who has been a Leicester season ticket holder since he was 12, got “over-excited” after Vardy had just scored and was handed a tube which he lit and “threw it towards the pitch”.

Mr Burrows said it was “two seconds of madness”, during which he got “very excited” but was now “very remorseful”.

Jamie Vardy of Leicester celebrates a goal at Carrow Road

Jamie Vardy celebrates Leicester's goal against Norwich City. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

He said the defendant travels to games home and away with his grandfather, who had “expressed some strong words of disagreement” about his actions.

The court heard the incident has had a "chastening impact" upon the defendant who has been banned by Leicester City following the incident at Carrow Road.

Mr Burrows said Burns, a landscape gardener, was a hard working man who was saving for a deposit to buy a property with his partner, who he has been with for three years.

Burns was fined £300, ordered to pay £105 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

The defendant was told the issue over a football banning order was adjourned for a full hearing before city magistrates on November 3 at 10am.

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