MIRROR Online: LONDON, By Alex Richards – The Black Country derby was suspended for over 30 minutes and descended into chaos as shameful crowd trouble overshadowed Wolverhampton Wanderers’ FA Cup fourth round win over West Bromwich Albion.

Premier League Wolves proved too good for their local rivals thanks to Pedro Neto’s first-half goal and Matheus Cunha’s 78th minute strike, winning at the Hawthorns for the first time in 28 years.

But the first match between the two rivals in front of supporters for 12 years left a bitter taste as chaos, labelled “completely unacceptable” by the FA, descended following Cunha’s fine finish. As Wolves fans celebrated the Brazilian’s goal in the away end, missiles were thrown from into and out of the visitors section in the Smethwick End.

Trouble then began to spill over in a number of sections of the home end, after Wolves supporters were discovered in multiple areas. Fighting duly broke out in a number of parts of the ground, both between fans and between supporters and police.

Footage of the incidents in the crowd, as players became involved

Footage of the incidents in the crowd, as players became involved, the police tried to stop the rival fans from getting at each other Jack Thomas/Wolves via Getty Images

West Brom players immediately ran over to the corner of the Birmingham Road End and Halfords Lane Stand where trouble had broken out.

It’s understood home players’ families are housed in that area of the ground during matches, with defender Kyle Bartley jumping into the stand, carrying out his young children onto the pitch and to safety.

Albion skipper Jed Wallace said post-game: “A lot of the players were distressed because that’s where their families sit. They were worried about their children, that’s why you could see some of them running over.”Kyle Bartley of West Bromwich Albion leaves the pitch with his children ( 

Around 50 police and a number of stewards tried to calm the situation but as they did, a melee erupted in the East Stand – next to the end housing 4,000 travelling Wolves fans.

The match was stopped and despite four announcements for fans to leave the field, the game was not restarted. One man was led across the pitch from the East Stand, his head and face covered in blood, and out through via the West Stand. Both sets of players were then taken off the field by referee Thomas Bramall.

A bloodied fan is led away by Police and medics

A bloodied fan is led away by Police and medics

An injured fan is given medical treatment

The fan was pulled out of the melee covered in blood from a cut on his head James Baylis/Getty Images

An FA statement declared: “The disorder that occurred at the Black Country derby between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers is completely unacceptable.

“Safety and security are of the utmost importance, and the behaviour of those involved is dangerous and inexcusable. We will be investigating these serious incidents alongside the clubs and the relevant authorities, and the appropriate action will be taken.”

Players from both sides eventually reappeared out of the tunnel after a delay of 25 minutes and made their way back onto the playing surface. However, with paramedics dealing with injured members of the crowd the match was unable to restart immediately, leaving players from both sides to warm up on the field.

When the game did eventually resume, around 250 riot police had been deployed in a bid to keep calm and get the match finished, while Albion centre-back Bartley was notable by his absence. Gary O’Neil’s men held firm to claim their place in the next round.

West Midlands Police later confirmed six people were arrested following the trouble. One man was arrested prior to the match on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon. Police also confirmed one man had been taken to hospital with head injuries.

Matheus Cunha of Wolverhampton Wanderers scores a goal

Brazil international Cunha, asked about the crowd trouble and whether he felt safe to continue, told ITV: “100 percent. I’m from South America, this kind of thing happens, as long as everyone is safe.

“It is bad when you see some children crying and things like that, but the most important thing is everyone is safe. Both teams played well and it was good atmosphere from both teams.”

Wolves captain Max Kilman added that it felt “unbelievable” to win at West Brom for the first time since 1996.

A fan of West Bromwich Albion gestures towards the fans of Wolverhampton Wanderers

A fan of West Brom got onto the pitch in the chaos Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Wolverhampton Wanderers' manager Gary O'Neil celebrates

Gary O’Neil celebrated the 2-0 win at full-time Andrew Kearns/Getty Images

Wanderers boss O’Neil also spoke about the trouble. He said: “It was really disappointing. Up until that point it was a good tie with good atmosphere – I’m not really sure what happened, the ref advised us to leave the pitch. We don’t know exactly what happened, how people behave at football is really important and we need to look at that, make sure everyone is safe. When we came back out the atmosphere had gone, it was really sad to see.

“I couldn’t really see what was going on, I know that the West Brom players’ families were in that area which is a concern. I really hope everyone’s OK, I’m not really sure what stoked it.

“The safety officers and police were telling us when we could go. We had to take Pedro [Neto] off because we didn’t want him starting and stopping, we didn’t want players waiting too long. I’m glad we didn’t have to come back and play it another time.”

The delay in the fixture, shown live on ITV, meant that the FA Cup fifth round draw was subsequently delayed. It was initially meant to take place at around 1:50pm, but was delayed until half-time of Liverpool’s match with Norwich City at Anfield.

Top Feature Photo: Trouble flares between fans of West Bromwich Albion and police 2024 AMA Sports Photo Agency