COLCHESTER United have vowed to take 'the most stringent action possible' against the duo who ran onto the pitch during their League Two clash with Forest Green Rovers last night.

The U's match against Rovers at the JobServe Community Stadium had to be halted after two males ran onto the playing surface from the home stands in the latter stages of the hosts' 3-0 defeat.

The pair were eventually detained by stewards and Colchester have issued a statement stating that they will conduct a 'thorough investigation' in the incident.

They said: “After two members of the public entered the field of play during the game against Forest Green Rovers, Colchester United Football Club will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and will look to take the most stringent action possible against the duo.

"We will also co-operate fully with the football authorities should they wish to conduct their own investigation into this incident.

"We cannot condone this behaviour in any way and would like to remind all visitors to the JobServe Community Stadium that it is a criminal offence to gain entry onto the field of play during any game.”

The incident follows hot on the heels of a worrying spate of pitch investigations at matches, up and down the country.

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish was struck by an individual who ran onto the pitch during their derby match at Birmingham City, last Sunday.

Birmingham fan Paul Mitchell pleaded guilty to assault on Monday and was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison.

And later that day, Manchester United defender Chris Smalling was shoved by an Arsenal fan who entered the field of play during the Premier League clash between the two sides, at the Emirates.

Last Friday, Glasgow Rangers captain James Tavernier was confronted by a Hibs fan in their Scottish Premiership game.