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Point keeper faces sanction after fan scrap

 

Mark Byrne

Warrenpoint Town manager Barry Gray has admitted that goalkeeper Mark Byrne is now in line for punishment from the Irish FA after the teenager left the pitch during Saturday's Irish Cup tie against Ballymena United to jump into visiting fans.

Video footage from Milltown showed Byrne fighting with Sky Blues supporters before being dragged away by players from both sides.

The keeper was sent off seconds later, with the final whistle sounding straight away.

Warrenpoint officials refused to condone his behaviour but there were allegations that the 19-year-old had been verbally abused by United fans throughout the game. There were also claims that his father was being attacked behind the goal and that led to him scaling the fence, which collapsed in the unsavoury scuffle.

From Ballymena followers, there were allegations that Byrne spat at them during the sixth round clash, which the visitors won 2-1.

Byrne's father needed medical attention to a head wound, while Ballymena confirmed two of their supporters were injured.

While the PSNI investigate an alleged assault, the IFA and Warrenpoint will probe the controversy and Byrne can expect to face action from the governing body's disciplinary committee.

Gray said: "He's gone the other side of the fence and, if that's the case, he has to be punished accordingly."

Belfast Telegraph