A MAN armed with a machete brought terror to a Runcorn football match.

The man threatened a player with a knife as open age teams Bridgewater and Brookvale were playing a friendly game at Woodside Playing Fields in Brookvale.

The drama erupted 10 minutes before half time shortly before 7pm on Thursday.

One male spectator said: ”The pitch is surrounded by hedges. This lad in a hooded top turned up and started shouting for one of the players to get off the pitch.

“They exchanged words for a while and then the perpetrator brandished a weapon.

“It all happened so quickly, it was a bit unnerving. It is striking how easy it is to approach players at that level of football.”

A Runcorn dad who brought his young son to watch the match said: “People including some young girls were screaming and shouting as the man was waving the machete around.

“He came up out of the blue and threatened one of the players. He pulled out a machete and waved it in his face. It was quite a big blade.

“It was scary like something you’d see on the telly. You couldn’t see his face because he had his hood up.”

“I go to lots of community matches and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Armed police and squad cars were called to the ground on Palacefields Avenue but the man had fled.

“It was mayhem,” added the dad.

“Armed police came but the man had run off towards Brookvale. He put the machete back in a bag when men went to challenge him.

“Everyone felt more at ease because the police stayed until the end of the game.”

The match resumed and Bridgewater won.

A suspect was traced and arrested on suspicion of affray.

Inspector Fez Khan, of Runcorn Local Policing Unit, said: “This was a very public incident which occurred at an adult local football match. Fortunately nobody was injured as a result.

“Understandably this may have caused some concern among those attending and within the local community but I want to assure residents that a man was arrested in connection with this incident and we are working hard to get to the bottom of what occurred.”

A 20-year-old man, from Runcorn, has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Cheshire police on 101 quoting incident number 769 of 3 August.