Football fans clashed as today's FA Cup match got underway. Two Portsmouth fans were arrested after throwing fireworks at Southampton Central Railway station as they were about to be escorted to the ground. Coins and bottles were also thrown.

Hundreds of Hampshire police were on standby to meet the Pompey fans as they arrived by train.

Police escorted the chanting fans along the 20-minute route it takes to walk to St Mary’s stadium through the city centre.

Officers were also at Woolston railway station ready to meet Pompey fans who opted to make their way to the ground over Northam Bridge.

Fifty Hampshire police officers, a ten-strong British Transport Police team and four mounted police drafted in from Thames Valley were out in force at Southampton railway station from early this morning.

Most fans began arriving by train after 10.30am and were penned into a group by police who surrounded them on all sides before shepherding them to the ground.

One eye-witness said the Pompey fans were banging on the windows of their trains as they came into the station before shouting at people waiting on the platform.

As the fans were escorted to the stadium a group managed to break free through the police cordon as they entered Britannia Road but were quickly contained by officers stationed nearer the stadium

Outside the King Alfred pub in Northam Road both sets of fans clashed. Police used vans and horses to separate the two sides as bottles were thrown.

And a violent scuffle also broke out between an isolated group of around five Pompey fans and Saints fans who started chanting at each other when they came face-to-face near Northam Bridge.

During the fight one Southampton fan was badly bitten by a police dog, suffering an injury to his leg. He was still able to go to the match.

Other Pompey fans travelled to St Mary's in 17 coaches that were specially arranged for today’s fixture, dropping them off at the car park near the Northam Stand.

From there they were escorted the short distance into the stadium shortly before kick off.

Througout the day Hampshire Police had a network of officers, known as ‘spotters’, dotted around the city and inside the stadium armed with intelligence about any known troublemakers.

There was also a big police presence outside Southampton Guildhall and in the Above Bar and London Road areas, with a total of 260 officers drafted in for the big fifth round cup clash between the two south coast rivals.

Chief Superintendent Matthew Greening said at half time: "We are really pleased with how the operation has gone so far. There have been two arrests for throwing fireworks which we believe were an attempt to throw the horses off track.

"It's a high energy match and what happens during the second half can have quite an impact on the crowd."

"Nothing has happened that we didn't expect."