By Craig McDonald
The DailyRecord

THE Tartan Army came under a hail of bricks and bottles on their way to last night's game against Ukraine.

Local skinheads pelted Scots fans in what appeared a planned attack in Kiev an hour before kick-off.

The Tartan Army's unofficial standard bearer, Spud the Piper, was hit by a brick in the attack. He was piping about 1000 Scots fans to the stadium when the attack happened. Spud, 40, of Aviemore, said: "I was piping away when I was knocked off my feet. I looked around and saw these guys armed with two bottles each throwing them at us.The missile hit me on the side of the head.I believe if it wasn't for the bearskin hat it could have killed me."

"The police arrived minutes later and the Ukrainians ran off. The group that attacked were skinheads out looking for violence but the majority of the people here are friendly and have welcomed us.We are all a bit gutted after losing the game but won't let that get in the way of a party before we fly home."

Another Tartan Army member said: "It happened out of the blue as we were walking to the game. Around 100 neds started launching bricks and bottles at us. At least one fan seemed to go down and take a few kicks. It's a bad shock. But the Scots fans kept singing throughout it and launched into a chorus of 'We're only here for the football'." 

About 3000 Scotland fans were in Kiev's 83,000-capacity Olympic stadium for the Euro 2008 qualifier. After the match, locals sickened by the thugs' attack applauded the Scots as they were escorted by riot cops from the stadium to the city centre. Many spoke of disgust at what had happened and Scots and Ukrainians then mingled in bars buying each other drinks. 

Earlier, Scots fans refused to shift when police tried to force them from Kiev's Independence Square. Pubs and kiosks were closed as cops feared a repeat of violent scenes the night before. But the Tartan Army returned with carry-outs and partied on.

One fan said: "We kept the party going. The locals love us anyway. They were taking pictures of us in our kilts. The bagpipes were playing and it was great."

Meanwhile, more details emerged of Tuesday night's violent ambush on Scots fans. One Scotland fan said: "It was a well planned assault. We hear the gang just thought it would be a high-profile way to give publicity to their nonsense. They were just idiots out to try to make a name for themselves."

Another said: "There's a problem with neo-Nazis in this country, who tend to attach themselves to football teams and it's not the first time visiting fans have come under attack."


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