THE ACTIONS of a 26-year-old man who ran on to the County Ground pitch and confronted the opposition goalkeeper have been roundly condemned by police and Swindon Town supporters.

The man, believed to be from the Newbury area, was arrested at the County Ground following the alleged attack on the opposition goalkeeper in front of the Town End.

The Football Association last night confirmed it was investingating an incident in the second half of the League One encounter between Swindon Town and Leyton Orient.

A man jumped out from the crowd of spectators and approached Jamie Jones before throwing three punches in the Orient keeper’s direction, according to witnesses and television footage.

He was tackled to the ground by stewards after a host of players interjected and the man was led away from the pitch.

Jones was unhurt in the incident and managed to play out the rest of the match.

Yesterday Wiltshire Police Intelligence Officer James Neighbour said he had never seen such an incident at Swindon and that the level of stewarding and policing was appropriate for the match, which was assessed to be a low-risk encounter.

He said: “We are aware several videos of the incident have appeared online on YouTube and the man was arrested on suspicion of pitch invasion.

“It is something that is not acceptable. There is obviously an atmosphere and the players expect the banter but when it goes to this level it has gone astray.

“The club has put on a certain amount of stewards and we had an appropriate number of officers on duty.

“We did a risk assessment before the match, which came out as low risk and that was correct.

“This was an isolated incident and since I have been in post, which is eight years now, this is the first time I have seen something like it at Swindon.”

Nigel Bennett, spokesman for the Swindon Town Supporters’ Club, said he was appalled by the incident and pleased nobody was injured.

He said: “I’m sure many fans were shocked to see the incident on Saturday and no one can condone the actions witnessed.

“Thankfully we do not have a history of events such as these at the County Ground and the fans would certainly not wish to see anything similar in future.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Wiltshire Police can confirm that a 26-year-old man was arrested at the County Ground during the Swindon Town game against Leyton Orient.

“He was arrested on suspicion of pitch invasion and remains in custody at Gablecross Police Station, Swindon, at this stage.

“Police enquiries are ongoing. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

l A video has emerged on YouTube of the attack, which shows the pitch invader aiming three punches at Jones.

It is available on the Adver’s website www.