Belfast Telegraph

I was relieved when referee realised his red card blunder, admits Carrick's Surgenor

 

By Alex Mills

Mark Surgenor has solved the red card mystery at the conclusion of Carrick's Bet McLean League Cup win over Glentoran at The Oval on Tuesday night.

Mark Edgar's sublime free-kick midway through the second half earned last season's beaten finalists a place in the last eight.

It was no more than Davy McAlinden's boys deserved and it was fitting that Edgar had the final say as he had tested Glens goalkeeper Dwayne Nelson three times before finding the net.

But the win was almost marred by a bizarre incident seconds from the end when Surgenor lunged into a challenge on Marcus Kane, which resulted in the Glens ace hobbling off.

Referee Raymond Hetherington pulled out the red card and flashed it in the Carrick man's direction, but immediately replaced it with a yellow.

Surgenor admitted he was surprised to see the Dungannon official reaching into his top pocket and stated: "I think the referee thought I had already been booked. He soon realised that wasn't the case, so he retracted it. It was a bit of a relief.

"It was a terrible challenge but I was focusing on getting the ball. I appreciate it didn't look good, but there was nothing malicious in it. I spoke to Marcus to wish him a speedy recovery."

Surgenor is relishing the quarter-final draw, but insists the win will not derail his team's Danske Bank Premiership ambitions.

"We were unlucky not to win here earlier in the season and I don't think anyone could claim we didn't deserve it," he said. "I would rather it had been a league game and we were going up the road with three points.

"But coming to The Oval and beating a Glentoran side that has been going well, we'll take that all day long.

"We've been disappointed we haven't kicked on in the league after achieving some good early results. Perhaps we started to believe we were better than we really are. We then lost a bit of confidence, so it's a matter of getting back to the basics.

"In saying that, no team has turned us over. We know we have something about us so hopefully we can now build on this win. We know we can play, which people don't give us credit for."

Of Edgar's strike, Surgenor said: "It was a fantastic finish.

"Mark hasn't been training over the past few weeks because he just became the father of a new baby girl. Although I fancied hitting it, he said it was his. He has a wand of a left foot."

With Dungannon Swifts next up at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena, Surgenor believes three points are a priority.

"We believe we can win," he added. "Dungannon can either blow you away or give you a chance. Rodney McAree always encourages his team to play football, so it's a game we will relish."

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