Abbie-Leigh Reay could become the first woman to be banned from attending football matches in England after she threw a flare on the pitch. The 23-year-old from Merseyside was arrested after the game between Tranmere Rovers and Forest Green on Jan. 29 earlier this year.

CCTV footage captured the moment Reay threw the flare, which landed near referee Lee Swabey and Forest Green goalkeeper Luke McGee. The Aldi worker was stopped by police as she left Prenton Park following Tranmere's 4-0 loss to their League Two rivals.

Reay, who was seen celebrating after the incident, appeared at Sefton Magistrates' Court in Merseyside, where she denied a charge of throwing a missile onto the pitch under the Football (Offences) Act 1991. The 23-year-old represented herself, and told the court that she threw the flare in panic after it landed near her.

"We had moved a couple of seats in front of these lads but they rocked down and that's when the flare has come and it was smoking at my feet,'' Reay said, as quoted on LADbible.

''Joel [brother] was on one side and my partner was on the other side and the first thing I thought was to get it away. I threw it directly onto the football pitch. I've been going to Tranmere all my life and I hate things like this."

However, District Judge James Hatton, who was presiding over the case dismissed Reay's arguments and her witness testimonies. The Merseysider was found guilty, and is expected to be sentenced later this month.

"You simply picked it up and threw it towards the referee and the goalkeeper," the Judge said. "Thereafter you put your arms in what was clearly an act of celebration. There is no other explanation for it. It is extremely clear and I reject your account in its entirety."

The game against Forest Green will be the last for Rovers fan Reay, with the team expected to issue a stadium ban. The League Two club have made it clear that they take a zero tolerance approach to such incidents and will act irrespective of the outcome of the case.

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