A former Crystal Palace footballer groped a young women in a nightclub and then punched her in the face when she objected, a court was told.

Nathaniel Pinney, aged 22, repeatedly pulled his alleged victim's top down to expose her bra and cleavage before touching her female friend on the bottom, prosecutors told Croydon Crown Court on Tuesday.

The ex-Eagles striker, of South Norwood, then punched and slapped one of the women in the face when they confronted him on the alleged assaults, at Wonderland nightclub in Sutton, in the early hours of August 7 last year.

Prosecutor Shahnaz Ahmed told the court that Mr Pinney had pestered one of the women, who he did not know, while at the club with his friends.

She said: "These two young woman were friends who were enjoying an evening at the nightclub.

"The defendent pestered one of them, who did not want any attention from him.

"He pulled her top down to show her bra and cleavage."

The alleged victim told Mr Pinney to leave her alone but he is said to have returned later and repeated the assault.

Ms Ahmed said: "Following that he pulled her top down at third time and placed his hands on her breast.

"She objected and he then slapped the second woman on the bottom. A confrontation then broke out and it was during the course of that, that Mr Pinney punched and slapped the first woman in the face."

She added: "There is no mistake that what he did was sexual and that she did not want this attention."

Mr Pinney was arrested after a doorman at the nightclub followed him to a nearby cash machine.

He denies two counts of sexual assault but has pleaded guilty to one charge of assault by beating.

The footballer made two appearances for Palace after rising through their youth ranks alongside Wilfred Zaha.

He left the club last year and spent two months at Croydon FC before joining his current club, Carshalton Athletic.

The case continues.