SEVEN football fans including a 14-year-old boy were arrested after a pitch invasion at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium.

The incident happened during the Premier League clash between Bournemouth and Newcastle on Saturday.

Travelling supporters spilled onto the pitch after winger Matt Ritchie scored a stoppage time equaliser for Newcastle. He was a member of the Cherries squad that won promotion to the top flight of English football in 2015 but was sold to Newcastle the following year.

Police arrested seven fans on suspicion of invading the field of play.

A possible assault on a female steward, who suffered an injury to her nose, is also being investigated.

Dorset Police statement said: “Six men and a 14-year-old boy were arrested on suspicion of going onto the playing area at a football match from the away supporters’ stand and are assisting officers with their inquiries.

“One female steward sustained an injury to her nose during the incident and investigations are under way to establish whether any assault took place.”

Speaking to reporters after the 2-2 draw, Cherries boss Eddie Howe praised stewards for their handling of the incident.

“It is great to see our safety procedures have worked,” he said.

“It is very topical. It is something that, naturally,is concerning a lot of people in the game”.

On Friday, the Daily Echo reported that Howe had urged authorities to “put plans in place” in order to avoid a “tragic event”.

He said recent instances of supporters entering the field of play had been “hugely alarming”.  Trouble caused by supporters entering the field of play has been in the spotlight following a series of high-profile incidents last weekend.

Birmingham supporter Paul Mitchell was jailed after punching Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish in last Sunday’s second city derby, while Manchester United defender Chris Smalling appeared to be pushed by an Arsenal fan on the same day.

Those events followed Rangers captain James Tavernier being confronted by a pitch invader at Hibernian two days earlier.

A joint statement issued by governing bodies The FA, Premier League and EFL read: “[We] strongly condemn the reprehensible actions of supporters who entered the field of play last weekend.

“English football has worked hard over many years to ensure that our grounds are safe places.  “Everyone involved in staging a game deserves to enjoy the highest safety standards and we are determined to prevent these standards from being undermined.  “It is essential that all players feel safe and supported every time they go on the pitch and there is absolutely no place for any type of behaviour that puts this at risk.

“We also acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of fans attend football matches to support their team in a positive manner and we will continue to work with those fans, clubs and stakeholders to generate the best possible atmosphere at games.

“Anyone who attends a match to threaten this principle, either from the stands or by entering the field of play, will face the strongest possible sanctions.”