THE number of Oxford United fans banned from attending football matches increased last season.

Eleven U's supporters were subject to banning orders during the 2017/18 campaign, with four new orders issued, according to Home Office figures.

All four were handed out following incidents at away matches and contributed to a slight rise in the number of fans banned, up from eight and seven in 2015/16 and 2016/17 respectively.

Just five United supporters were arrested throughout the season, down from 22 in 2015/16 and 15 the following year.

An Oxford United spokesperson said: "We take such things seriously. We work very hard with the relevant authorities to create a safe and family friendly atmosphere at all games, home and away.

"We'll continue to try to get that number to fall for the years to come."

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The statistics show data for the four seasons from 2014/15, when 14 United fans were banned in total.

Last season's figures are a slight jump compared to the previous two years, despite six new orders being issued in 2015/16.

That campaign saw the U's promoted from League Two, but it also represented a high in the number of arrests for the period.

Of the five arrests last season, just one came on a matchday at the Kassam Stadium, with the other four occurring at away games.

Two arrests were made for violent disorder and one for public disorder, while the other two resulted from possession of pyrotechnics - for example flares and smoke bombs.

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Three fans of rivals Swindon Town were given new orders last season, bringing the total number banned in 2017/18 to 12.

Banning orders generally last between three and five seasons, meaning the figures for 2017/18 could include supporters who were stopped from going to games as far back as 2013.

The period also includes some notable flare-ups at United games in recent years.

Eight men were arrested after trouble marred the U's Johnstone's Paint Trophy area final second leg clash with Millwall in February 2016. Those detained included supporters of both clubs.

One year later, a number of fans were arrested outside the County Ground when United beat Swindon 2-1 - the last time the two sides met in a league game.

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League Two side Grimsby Town and Sunderland, then in the Championship, saw 28 fans given new orders last season, a joint-high for the top four divisions.

Meanwhile, Newcastle United had the most supporters banned in total in 2017/18, with 79 overall. Birmingham City topped the arrests table with 95.

The figures for the 2018/19 season are due to be released later this year.

OxVox, the Oxford United Supporters' Trust, did not respond to a request for comment.