A RANGERS fan has admitted throwing a bottle at a Port Seton man who ran onto the pitch during a Scottish Premiership football match in Edinburgh.

William Brown, of Shotts, Lanarkshire, launched the missile at Hibernian fan Cameron Mack during a stormy game between the two clubs at Easter Road earlier this year.

Brown, 27, threw the juice bottle at Mack after he had witnessed the Hibs fan running onto the pitch and confronting Rangers player James Tavernier.

Mack, of Golf Drive, Port Seton, had approached the player near the end of the first half and during the incident he proceeded to knock the ball away.

Police officers immediately ran to the scene, where Mack was grabbed and hauled away.

And while he was being taken from the pitch, Rangers supporter Brown threw the plastic juice bottle over 17 rows of fans towards Mack.

The bottle did not reach its intended target but Brown’s actions were witnessed by an ambulance worker and a member of the G4S security team who was patrolling the stands at the time.

Brown was allowed to watch the remainder of the match but was eventually arrested outside the ground by police who had been alerted to him by witnesses.

Brown appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to culpably and recklessly throwing a bottle onto the pitch at Easter Road on March 8.

Fiscal Eilidh Yates told the court that Brown was seen launching the bottle from halfway up the stand behind the goal housing Rangers’ 3,500 supporters just as the referee blew the half-time whistle.

Ms Yates said: “At around 8.30pm, at the half-time whistle, the accused was seen by two witnesses throwing a bottle over the heads of 17 rows of spectators and onto the pitch.

“He was sat in the south stand in the away support and was directly in front of the match control room.”

The fiscal said that the ambulance worker and the security member informed police and Brown was arrested outside the stadium at the conclusion of the match.

Ms Yates said the Crown was seeking a football banning order.

Defence lawyer Philip Templeton said his client had thrown a plastic juice bottle after witnessing Tavernier struggling with Hibs fan Mack.

Mr Templeton said: “This was a game where a fan had ran onto the pitch and confronted a Rangers player.

“The impression that the steward had was Mr Brown was effectively aiming at the fan on the pitch.

“The bottle landed on the concrete footway and did not strike anyone.”

Sheriff Peter McCormack heard that Brown had been banned from attending regulated football matches since the incident as part of his bail conditions. The sheriff continued the football ban and deferred sentence to next month for reports and a restriction of liberty assessment to be prepared.

Hibs fan Mack was previously jailed after he admitted running onto the pitch during the same game and confronting Tavernier.

Mack was jailed for 100 days when he pleaded guilty to a breach of the peace offence when he appeared from custody at the Capital’s sheriff court on April 8.

He was also banned from attending matches for 10 years and told he would be banned from Easter Road for life.