And so, after a recount, it was the police’s fault. The police’s fault and the stewards’ fault. The police’s fault, the stewards’ fault and also, no doubt, the fault of those pesky bits of blue plastic for having the nerve to be there in the first place.

Well, what’s a person to do when his team is in the process of losing 2-1 in SkyBet League Two on a sunny afternoon in late August? Just sit there and take it?

Often in this country we seem such great experts at passing blame and accountability up the chain. Fancy free rein to act like a prat? Well, that Dominic Cummings drove to Barnard Castle when he shouldn’t have, didn’t he, so there’s your pass.

In football, it happens too. That goal you conceded? The result of John Nixon having too many EFL positions. That 3-0 defeat? Without a 50-50 refereeing decision in the 37th minute, who knows what would have happened?

Wembley being stormed at the Euro 2020 final? Not enough barriers, so how were people supposed to behave?

Okay, there’s a degree of cause and effect with some of the above. Prevention rather than cure and all that. We can hardly argue against the need for good leadership, organisation, planning and exercising of authority But let’s bring it back to Victoria Park.

If some beered-up dolt wishes to put his foot through a nearby area of vacant disabled seating in a football ground, it’s probably the case that he can do that unmolested. If a small pack of imbeciles have the tolerance threshold of a toddler both to intoxicating liquor and to the sight of Gavan Holohan sticking a volley past Magnus Norman then, short of putting an officer next to each of them, it’s going to be tricky to intercept the moronic actions that pop into their mind next.

So the apparent events of last Saturday can be looked at through a clear lens. There is no need to transfer it to those who were there to ensure a bit of order.

It’s entirely on the prats who set about a little area of Hartlepool’s ground and left the club facing a quick repair job so that some of their supporters a little more disadvantaged than many of us can watch a game in protected comfort.

United took 1,000 fans to the north east last weekend. The vast majority, as ever, represented the Blues with fair and full-throated passion.

Sadly, when a bigger occasion than normal presents itself – as away days go, this was comfortably Carlisle’s biggest since well before Covid – the idiot fringe will attach itself.

The summer, at the Euros, brought the charming spectacle of a certain breed of fan being wholly unable to control himself when high on excitement, post-pandemic freedom and a few slurps of Dark Fruit.

The atmosphere at many of those games appeared superb, as it does at our lower level when Carlisle travel in numbers. You do wonder, though, if sometimes we (and that’s the media, for sure) glamourise these trips a shade too much, highlighting the smoke and the appealing tribal hostility at the expense of pointing out the risk of stupidity also tagging along.

But again – we don’t need to pull the blame too far this way either. Let’s leave it mostly where it is and say that, if you’re incapable of going to a game without trashing seats and dismembering a few bits of hoarding, then in all honesty football isn’t really for you.

Leaving the house unattended isn’t really for you either, unless someone from nursery is waiting with the engine running.

The aftermath at Hartlepool last week, photographed by journalist Nick Loughlin, was wholly depressing and made you fear for longer-term consequences for the Blues if it’s repeated any time soon. Not that it’s going to happen, but how would this pocket of away ‘support’ cope if United had a handful of derbies a season? Already you start to worry about the potential for wanton rearranging of parts of Barrow’s Holker Street if the wrong ‘lads’ attach themselves to the travelling Blue Army next March.

United have not yet commented on last Saturday’s goings-on, preferring to wait for the respective police forces from Cumbria and Cleveland to do their thing in sorting out the culprits.

Once that process is concluded, one trusts the Blues will disown the perpetrators as publicly and firmly as they can, and mete out the sternest measures as regards attending future matches that are within their power. Let’s trust that supporter bodies will also join in.

All these things need to be said entirely apart from the feisty rivalry that’s on show when United go to Pools. Long may the verbal set-tos, the tribalism and even some of the unprintable symphonies continue between respective stands.

Football without such scenes is a sanitised spectacle, and we’ve had more than enough of that in the last 18 months. But that shouldn’t come onto the same page of debate as reminding people not to send disabled seats bouncing onto the pitch or to avoid aggressively separating them from their fixings.

And yes – if there are lessons in the areas of ticketing, policing, stewarding and so on in light of such events, then let them be considered, in full and open interrogation among those bodies, clubs and fan organisations.

Only, though, after individual responsibility is first identified and served – and when people happy to bring embarrassment onto Carlisle United have been relieved of the chance to do it again.