OLDHAM Athletic are under investigation by the Football Association following the latest pitch invasion.

Tuesday night's Papa John's Trophy defeat to Wigan Athletic at Boundary Park was disrupted in the second half when dozens of spectators, mostly youngsters, poured onto the pitch from the Rochdale Road End.

The game was held up for around six minutes until the stewards ushered the group off the playing area and back to the stand.

And while the individuals involved are not thought to be regulars at Boundary Park, it is the fifth pitch invasion there this season, which has led to English football's governing body looking into the incidents.

Latics could face a fine depending on the FA's findings.

Under the 'crowd management' section of the organisation's rules and regulations it states: "Any disciplinary action for crowd management issues such as discriminatory behaviour, missile throwing or incursions onto the pitch is taken against the relevant club/s as The FA does not have jurisdiction over individual spectators, unless they are also 'participants' in football.

"Disciplinary charges may follow if The FA's investigations conclude that the club/s did not do enough to prevent and/or deal with the misconduct of spectators."

The first pitch invasion staged by Latics fans came at the end of the Carabao Cup first round penalty shoot-out win against Tranmere Rovers, which was more in celebration having come from behind to progress to the second round, although fans used the opportunity to vent their frustrations at owner Abdallah Lemsagam and his sporting director brother, Mo, with chants calling for them to sell the club.

There were a further three pitch invasions in the next four games, while tennis balls and flares thrown onto the playing area causing disruption to the Carabao Cup second round win over Accrington Stanley in August.

Further pitch invasions were staged at the end of home games against Colchester United, in League Two, and Salford City, in the Papa John's Trophy, while players were forced to exit the pitch during the home defeat to Barrow as a number of fans ran into the centre circle, with some sitting on the centre spot.

With alternative organised protests against the club's ownership, Tuesday night's pitch invasion was the first since September.

Other elements of the FA's investigation process procedures are listed as follows:

* The FA investigates almost all crowd management issues at fixtures;

* The FA's investigations usually involve seeking observations from the club/s concerned and agencies such as the Police;

* The FA works closely with the club/s and any agencies to ensure that those responsible are identified, dealt with appropriately by the club/s and the criminal courts where appropriate.

Oldham Athletic has been approached by The Oldham Times for a comment.