Glentoran boss refusing to ‘crucify' Aaron McCarey after attack on own team-mate

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The big 29-year-old took a rush of blood and attacked his OWN midfielder Bobby Burns after Cathair Friel had gobbled up a late equaliser for Coleraine in a 2-2 draw.

© Glentoran goalkeeper Aaron McCarey was sent off on Saturday after an attack on his own team-mate, Bo…

In an unprovoked incident, Burns collapsed to the ground and was immediately surrounded by colleagues.

Referee Andrew Davey promptly issued the embarrassed shot-stopper with a red card, which promoted a hostile reaction from the home fans towards McCarey as he walked to the dressing room.

It had been cracking entertainment up until that flashpoint.

Conor McKendry shot the Bannsiders into an early lead with a vicious drive from distance.

But Mick McDermott’s boys upped the ante after the break and hit back through a Jay Donnelly double – the second from the penalty spot.

Just when it looked like the Glens would end a horrible run of not beating Coleraine in the league since March 2016, Lyndon Kane intercepted a pass intended for the unfortunate Burns and took off on a fantastic 40-yard solo run.

When he spotted Friel free on the edge of the box, he played the most delicate of passes that the substitute finished with class and assurance.

It led to the game’s most explosive moment, with McCarey rushing from his goal to attack Burns.

He now faces a hefty official ban for what will be deemed as ‘violent conduct’ but the consequences could be even greater, depending on how the club view the incident.

“I don’t want to blow it up into a major incident,” said Glentoran boss McDermott. “We have rules, protocols and procedures for indiscipline.

“If it is proven for violent conduct, then we will have to consider the consequences.

“When we view the footage and, if we judged it to be violent conduct, we’ll have our internal disciplinary action.

“We’ll look at it with our own cameras.

“Bobby insists he wasn’t struck in the face.

“It looked like Aaron grabbed him in the chest area, but when he fell, his head hit the ground.

“That’s what caused the reaction of the players.

“I’ve seen it happen a few times during my football career.

“It’s not nice, but we’ll deal with it, and we’ll move on.”

McDermott preferred to reserve judgement until all the evidence has been examined.

“Aaron came into the dressing room and held up his hands and said he shouldn’t have done it,” added McDermott. “Bobby Burns was the same, they were both gutted.

“We will deal with it.

“I know it will be a major talking point and billed as a big incident.

“People will ask, have we trouble in the dressing room? No, definitely not.

“It shouldn’t have happened, but they are two grown men.

“What are we to do, crucify him? I know social media will be going mad, that doesn’t make it any better or any worse. I couldn’t care less.

“I was more concerned the way we shot ourselves in the foot because we were the dominant team in the second half.

“On the day, I thought we were the better side, but we didn’t get the points, we are gutted.”

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney carefully side-stepped the McCarey incident, stating: “I jumped out of the dug-out with the rest of the staff to celebrate our goal, but then I saw a red card being raised by the referee.

“By all accounts, there had been contact between two players that no-one wants to see on the football pitch.

“It’s disappointing because it was a great game.

“After a comfortable first half, Glentoran came out of the traps in the second half and caused us problems.

“We had to batten down the hatches and ride out the wave.

“It took an unbelievable bit of play by Lyndon to help rescue the point – he took six or seven great touches, dancing through quite a few committed tackles.

“The weight of his pass to Cathair was perfect and he gave it the finish it deserved.”

GLENTORAN: McCarey, McCullough, Bigirimana, Burns, Marshall, J.Donnelly (Glendinning, 83), McDaid (R.Donnelly, 50), McClean, O’Connor (Garrett, 83), McMenamin, Plum (Clucas, 78).

Subs (not used): Mitchell, Smith, Cushnie.

COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, Brown (Mullan, 46), McKendry, Lowry, Bradley (Friel, 63), Carson, O’Donnell, Glackin, Traynor, Shevlin.

Subs (not used): Gallagher, Jarvis, Wilson, Parkhill, Kelly.

REFEREE: Andrew Davey.

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