An amateur footballer has been ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to a rival player who suffered a broken nose during an on field bust up.

Luke Barton felled Buckfastleigh Rangers team’s player manager Colin Hayman with a single punch after an argument over a bad tackle.

The confrontation happened during a pre season ’friendly’ in which Barton was playing for Watcombe Wanderers away at Buckfastleigh Rangers.

Barton claimed he was acting in self defence after Mr Hayman rushed towards him in an aggressive manner but a jury at Exeter Crown Court rejected his story.

Mr Hayman said Barton had kicked him in the back as they both got up after a sliding tackle and then punched him in the face, breaking his nose.

Barton, aged 31, from Torquay, denied assault causing actual bodily harm but was found guilty.

He was ordered to do 200 hours unpaid community work and pay £2,000 compensation by Recorder Mr James Watson, who told him that whatever happened on the pitch was no excuse for violence.

During a two day trial the jury heard how the match in August 2014 at Buckfastleigh Rangers’ Duckspond Road ground was uneventful until the incident which led to Barton being sent off.

The match was abandoned after a mass brawl broke out between other players.

Barton was running with the ball towards the Buckfastleigh penalty area when he was tackled cleanly by defender Mr Hayman.

Mr Hayman said he was kicked in the back and when he got up he was punched full in the face.

Barton denied kicking Mr Hayman and said he walked away from the tackle, only feel a hard punch to the back of the head.

He said he turn round a see Mr Hayman advancing towards him and raised his arm to defend himself.

He said:"I raised my arm to protect my face because I had previously been punched on the back of the head. It all happened really quickly. I turned around and he was running towards me aggressively.

"I raised my hand as an instinctive reaction to protect my face. I put my right arm up because he could have headbutted or punched me. I did not have time to think, he was right on me."