Disallowed 'goal' following Paul Maguire penalty the major talking point as Donegal Celtic wrap up victory against Larne
Referee Ally Burns was thrown into the spotlight after a bizarre incident at Celtic Park on Saturday, as Donegal Celtic grabbed a narrow victory over Larne.
With DC winning 2-0, Larne were awarded a second half spot kick. Forward Paul Maguire struck the post before slamming home the rebound.
Initially, referee Burns awarded the goal despite the fact no Donegal Celtic player had touched the ball in-between Maguire's two touches. As most football fans know, this is not allowed.
Law 14 of the game states; “If the kicker touches the ball again (except with his hands) before it has touched another player then an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, with the kick to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.”
With the two teams lining up for the re-start, DC manager Nicky Maye ran onto the field to protest about the decision. After some consultation with his assistant, referee Burns eventually disallowed the goal.
After the game, manager Maye said: “People were telling me not to go onto the pitch but I just thought 'sod it' and ran on anyway. The referee was right in front of me and I felt that I had to make my point.
“I knew the rule, I knew it shouldn't have been goal so I just wanted the referee to discuss it with his linesman. Sure enough, when he did that he disallowed the goal.
“I'm forward person and I've got my opinions on the incident but I don't want to get myself in trouble.
“I joked with the lads after the game that I deserved some credit for the three points, because we might not have won if I hadn't run on the pitch!”
DC were 2-0 up at half time thanks to a brace from former Cliftonville striker Darren Stuart. Larne's Gerard Gillan pulled a goal back for the Invermen, but David McAlinden's men were unable to find an equaliser.
A delighted Maye said: “It was great to get our first win of the season and great for me to get the monkey of my back. I was delighted for the boys, particularly Darren Stuart who scored twice. Darren is a talented player and he's enjoying his football again.
“We've also brought in Kevin Bradley from Glentoran, who is a fantastic defender. There is a positive feel at the club and the Larne result has given everyone a lift.”
Maye joined Donegal Celtic last summer as assistant to Paul McAreavey. Maye was promoted to manager in the summer when McAreavey decided to step aside.
Maye's aim is to stabilise the West Belfast club, who have suffered a number of knocks since they lost their place in the Premiership two seasons ago.
Maye explained: “The start of last season was crazy. We didn't even know some of the players names for the first game, but we worked hard to bring some stability to the club. There are a lot of people working away in the background to get the club on a level footing.
“We're not paying wages to the players, so I know they're all here because they want to play for the club.
“When Maccers decided to step down I was going to go with him because we had done so much work together, but he told me I should take the job.
“I know a lot of people won't know much about me, but I'm very ambitious and I'm determined to put everything I have into this job.
“I believe in this squad of players but we are building for the future. My first aim is to make sure we are in this division next season.”
Donegal Celtic will hope to build on their success next Saturday, when they cross the city to play Knockbreda.