TWO football fans have escaped a ban from attending games after assaulting a steward at a Saints game.

Joseph Ridgeway and Mathew Wilson could have been barred from matches after admitting the attack on St Mary’s stadium worker David Chan earlier this year.

But the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the football banning order at a hearing at Southampton Magistrates’ Court due to their previous good character and that it was a “one-off offence”.

Magistrates heard how Mr Chan approached the Chelsea fans after a flare was thrown during a Saints’ match with the Premier League giants on New Year’s Day.

Basingstoke Gazette:

Picture: Ridgeway and Wilson outside court

Wilson, 33, of North East Road, Sholing, was seen pushing and pulling Mr Chan while his brother, 23-year-old Ridgeway, pushed him and kneed him in the leg.

They pleaded guilty at a hearing in January but were sentenced this week, with both receiving a two-year conditional discharge.

Mitigating, Sunyana Sharma said the pair were remorseful and their actions were “completely out of character”.

She added: “They both want to put this behind them as a blip in their lives. You will not see them again in this court.”

Wilson and Ridgeway, a former Sparsholt College student of Barmouth Road, London, were also ordered to pay £75 compensation and £85 court costs each.