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Orient could face sanctions after pitch invasion halts game

Colchester United finally won the game at Orient 3-1, but in bizarre circumstances which left fans and pundits alike searching the record books for anything like it.

The game was 'abandoned' with 85 minutes on the clock when a group of disgruntled Orient fans protesting at owner 
Francesco Becchetti  invaded the pitch and sat in the centre-circle.

The pitch and stadium were eventually cleared for the players to then come out and finish the last 8 minutes of the game behind closed doors with a media black-out ensuring fans didn't try to return if news got out through social media.

The Football League later issued a statement which read: "The decision to play the match to a conclusion was agreed with both managers and with the support of the match officials.

"The police and stadium security staff were happy for the match to restart and this took place at approximately 6.40pm.

"Despite requests for the fans to clear the pitch, there wasn't sufficient movement to allow the game to restart following a pitch invasion.

"A decision was taken with the police to announce that the game had been abandoned, as it was felt this would help clear the pitch, which proved correct.

"However, it was deemed appropriate that the game needed to be played to a conclusion in order to maintain the integrity of the competition and in respect of Colchester United's position of being able to qualify for the League Two play-offs.

Before kick-off, troubled club Orient released a statement saying that they had cleared their debts to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

However, BBC London reported that some freelance contractors at the club are yet to be paid.

JB

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