Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Darren Murray receives strange red card while being substituted as Glentoran boss slams 'pathetic' referee

Glentoran's Darren Murray was sent off in unfamiliar circumstances at the Oval.
Glentoran's Darren Murray was sent off in unfamiliar circumstances at the Oval.

Glentoran manager Mick McDermott was far from happy with referee Steven Gregg after his side's 1-0 defeat to Cliftonville on Friday evening.

It had seemed like the hosts would hold out for a scoreless stalemate until Joe Gormley's late winner at the Oval after being made to play the last 26 minutes with 10 men.

That was after striker Darren Murray was shown a second yellow card just as he was being substituted, due to be replaced by Jonny Frazer.

This season, one of FIFA's new rules of the game states that substituted players must leave the pitch at the nearest point.

However, Murray jogged across the pitch to the the halfway line at the dugout - the traditional place for substitutions. When he got there, he turned round to see referee Gregg issuing his second yellow card, followed by a red.

"When you've got a performance like that from one person on the pitch, pathetic," McDermott told the BBC. "The game was ruined by one person. We're talking about common sense prevailing and trying to upgrade football here, but if one person can ruin a football match like that, then things need to be looked at here."

Even Cliftonville manager Paddy McLaughlin had sympathy with Murray although blamed the rule rather than the referee.

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"There was a lot of confusion," he told BBC. "I thought something had happened as he was walking off the pitch and I wasn't too sure.

"When a substitution takes place you've got to leave the pitch at the nearest point, it's a really, really harsh yellow card. If that's the letter of the law then it's a bit silly, but the referee was only doing what he was told to do.

"It was very frustrating for Glentoran and it's a silly red card. No one really understood what was going on until the fourth official explained it."

Have a look at the red card here:

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