POLICE SCOTLAND have said that they have been made aware of an allegation of racial abuse towards Kelty Hearts forward Nathan Austin on Saturday.

The 27-year-old, who netted a hat-trick in his team's 3-0 win at Albion Rovers, posted on social media after the match that he had been targeted by a home supporter.

Both clubs said they were looking into the matter, while Austin said yesterday (Monday) that he was "overwhelmed" with messages of support he had received.

Responding to an enquiry from the Press as to whether they had received a complaint in relation to the incident, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: "We have been made aware of a social media post concerning an alleged hate crime at a football match in Coatbridge.

"At this time, officers have received no official report or complaint, but we will be engaging with the two clubs involved in the incident."

Following the game, which saw Kelty maintain their place at the top of SPFL League Two, Austin wrote on Twitter, alongside a picture of the match ball: "A perfect hat-trick tarnished by an Albion fan.

"I guess that's the world we live in."

The former East Fife, Falkirk and Inverness Caledonian Thistle player received an outpouring of support, including from Livingston captain, and assistant manager, Marvin Bartley.

Kelty, who were promoted to League Two in the summer, later released a statement supporting their player.

"An investigation is underway with our friends from Albion Rovers FC," it said.

"Kelty Hearts Football Club shall support all of our players and members fully against racism of any kind, we strongly condemn racism and are totally committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination."

An Albion Rovers statement said: "We take seriously the allegations that have been made and condemn racism in all its forms.

"We will support the football authorities and law enforcement in bringing any perpetrators to justice."