A fiesta of football at Underhill Stadium was given some Italian flare at the weekend.

A team of 12 Italian fans were challenged to a friendly match by Barnet FC supporters outside the ground on Saturday morning.

The specially arranged game was to mark the friendship between supporters of the League Two club, and the fans of Italian team US Ivrea Calcio, who also play in black and amber.

It was part of a series of events organised by the Barnet FC supporters association (BFCSA) to welcome the visiting fans to the borough.

Organiser John Adkins, from the BFCSA, said the link was established five years ago when he got talking to a supporter from the North Italian team that was visiting Underhill.

Since then, the supporters have made the bond official by signing a document and exchanging pennants.

Mr Adkins, 65, said: “It’s a strong bond we have between the two clubs and its a great way of bringing us together.

“They play in the same colours and at the same level in Italy so it is great to have this friendship.

“It’s important because it shows people from different backgrounds and cultures can come together through sport to enjoy themselves.”

The weekend’s activities are the latest in a series of events arranged between the two supporters, which involves each visiting the other’s home team during the season.

The group stayed in a hostel in Kensal Green and kicked off the friendly match at 11.30am, although they went on to lose 8-1 to the Barnet supporters.

They then watched the Bees’ home game against Darlington before being treated to post-match hospitality in one of the executive suites and meeting some of the players.

Mr Adkins thanked Barnet FC chairman Tony Kleanthous for accommodating the visitors and said he hopes to get to Italy some time in April.

He said: “It was fabulous. It took a lot of arranging but I am delighted it all came together.

“It wasn’t really about the results, it was just great fun and everyone had a laugh which was the important thing.”