Championship match descends into anarchy with players and staff in 30-man brawl

Swansea and Preston were involved in a huge brawl as tensions flared during their Championship clash.

The two sides played out a thriller at the Stadium before the match boiled over in the closing stages. The big flashpoint happened when Preston were pushing for an unlikely equaliser in the final minutes of normal time, having recovered from 3-0 down to make it 3-2.

With the Lilywhites on the attack, Swansea star Jay Fulton went down with an apparent head injury. Play carried on despite the injury, leaving Swansea – and particularly Joe Allen – unhappy.

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His protest in front of Preston's dugout prompted a furious response before he was pushed by North End boss Ryan Lowe. Allen then reacted by barging into the former Plymouth Argyle manager, prompting a mass brawl involving both sides.

Replays showed around 30 players and staff from both dugouts involved as the referee struggled to keep a lid on proceedings. Order was eventually restored with Allen and Lowe shown their marching orders.

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Lowe declined to speak to media after the game, although Swansea manager Russell Martin, who also got involved in the melee, did face the cameras. He said: "It can be avoided. Ryan pushes Joe and chaos ensues.

"I've watched it back, I don't think it's pretty for anyone. Our job as a group of staff is to get players away from it. The situation could have been avoided, twice probably. It is what it is. When people are so passionate and care about what they're doing, sometimes it boils over."

Despite rumblings of a Preston comeback, Swansea killed the game off in injury time as Joel Piroe scored his second of the evening.

Defeat put a huge dent in Preston's play-off hopes with only three games remaining for the Lilywhites. They're two points adrift of Blackburn in sixth after their second defeat of the week, while Swansea still hold a glimmer of hope of making the top six in 13th.


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