RIVAL fans are to be kept apart during Accrington Stanley's first home match of the season against Shrewsbury tomorrow.
The club has taken the rare step of introducing segregation as they are anticipating hundreds of Shrewsbury fans turning up at the Interlink Express Stadium.
Ground Safety officer Mick Schultz said: "We are expecting over 500 Shrewsbury fans to be at the match. We are going to segregate the fans in the interests of safety.
"We have got to segregate them or it would be extremely difficult for large numbers of fans to move around the ground when the teams change ends. It just wouldn't work.
"I anticipate we will have to do it again in the future. It is in the interests of safety and not that we are expecting any trouble.
"I have been in contact with the police and the safety officer from Shrewsbury. I will be in contact with them again to get a more realistic figure of the number of fans coming."
Away fans will enter the ground at the end next to the changing rooms while Reds supporters will enter through the main turnstiles.
Stanley Chairman Eric Whalley said: "We have segregated the crowd on police advice. We expect to hear today how many fans Shrewsbury will bring. It could be as many as 800 but we can cope."
Police officers will also be at the game monitoring the crowds and dealing with any problems.
Officers are also set to keep a watchful eye out in case any Wolverhampton fans, who are bitter rivals with Shrewsbury, travel to the town as their team plays Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in Blackburn.
Inspector Phil Cottam, from Accrington Police, told the Observer: "We will be monitoring all the goings on. We have no intelligence to suggest there will be any problems between the fans."