Smoke grenade thrown at police horses before Preston North End vs Blackpool match

One of the horses lost a shoe during the incident

A smoke grenade was reportedly thrown at police horses ahead of Preston North End’s clash with Lancashire rivals Blackpool

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The two sets of fans were being kept apart by a heavy police presence around Deepdale this evening (April 5). Blackpool supporters were pictured arriving on coach with a police convoy while home fans were also escorted to the match.

A sell-out crowd was expected for the first league meeting between the sides at the ground since 2010. Preston North End Police issued a issued a warning to anyone trying to cause trouble or attend without a ticket and appealed for safe and sensible behaviour from supporters.

A LancsLive photographer standing outside the ground before the 7.45pm kick-off witnessed a smoke grenade being thrown at the police horses “as they were bunched up” shepherding the crowd.

Police were escorting Blackpool fans into the ground at the time of the incident. One of the horses lost a shoe during the incident.

The discarded smoke grenade was pictured on the ground with the words ‘wire pull smoke’ written on the side in bright orange letters. It is not yet known if anyone was arrested or injured.

PNe and Blackpool are separated by just a single point in the table, with any hopes of either gatecrashing the play-offs all but over after weekend defeats. Blackpool lost at home to Nottingham Forest, while PNE were beaten at Derby County.

It was the Seasiders who won the reverse fixture earlier in the season, claiming a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Keshi Anderson and Gary Madine. That fixture took place in October, with North End having changed manager since and Ryan Lowe will be keen to make his mark tonight.

The game kicked off at 7.45pm and is expected to attract a crowd of around 19 thousand.

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