Newry City 3 Glentoran 4
There are certainly worse ways to make your mark at your new club than scoring a backheel four minutes into your debut in a seven-goal thriller against one of your former employers.
But that’s exactly what new Newry City signing Peter McCann did on Saturday in the 4-3 home defeat to Glentoran in boss Pat McGibbon’s first game at the helm.
McCann followed that up with a second goal for the basement side but was powerless to prevent his team from falling to defeat to Scott Young’s men and he laid the blame squarely at the feet of the officials.
The sides were level at three goals apiece with just over 10 minutes to go when Glentoran’s hat-trick hero Matty Burrows lunged in on Ross Black on the touchline right in front of the assistant referee.
Black retaliated and was shown a red card by referee Arnold Hunter while Burrows managed to escape with just a booking before going on to win and then score a penalty after being fouled by Conor Hagan, who was subsequently sent off himself, with just four minutes left.
“You don’t get the breaks at all,” said McCann.
“I thought the boys were magnificent. I only came in during the week and you can see that there are plenty of quality players in the side.
“You can bust yourself all day long but, as a team today, we felt that the officials let us down, especially in the second half.
“As soon as you lift off the ground with two feet going in around somebody’s knee, then you have to go. The lineman has made another poor decision and the referee is looking straight onto it from his position and how Burrows didn’t go as well is beyond me. You don’t get the rub of the green when you’re down there.”
After Burrows and Tommy McCallion had traded excellent strikes, Daryl Fordyce edged the Glens in front four minutes before the break with a 35-yard thunderbolt. McCann struck either side of another well-taken Burrows goal before that frantic finale.
Aside from the controversy of the match, the midfielder was just happy to be back out on the pitch having not kicked a ball this season.
He said: “Whenever I got the phonecall from Pat, I couldn’t wait to play.
“Pat’s a good friend and when he asked me to come down and play I jumped at the chance. Just to be able to go out and kick a ball again is a breath of fresh air.”