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Match sees 124th minute halfway line equaliser and very controversial sending off

Fans have been left stunned this week as an Irish match sees an 124th minute halfway line equaliser and a very controversial sending off.

Former Liverpool academy member Glen McAuley marked his debut for League of Ireland First Division outfit Athlone Town in stunning fashion, with a hat-trick rounded off by an incredible goal from the inside the centre circle.

The 21-year-old was on the Premier League club’s books from 2016 to 2019, as a striker who regularly stared for the under-18s and worked under the tuition of Steven Gerrard.

McAuley went on to rise up the ranks and earn opportunities with the U23s in addition to being called up to senior training under Jurgen Klopp, however he then returned to his native Ireland.

He endured spells with St Patricks Atheltic, Bohemian and Shelbourne in just two years before he joined Athlone Town and was announced on the 23rd of July, a day he will not forget quickly.

The player was named in the starting lineup without delay, and soon found his side two goals behind Waterford in the FAI Cup game and it would remain the case until the 75th minute.

McAuley then converted from the penalty spot for his first goal before adding another in the same manner in the 89th minute giving his side the lead after Stephen Meaney levelled the scores six minutes prior.

Victory was in their grasp, however Waterford then made it 3-3 to send the game into extra time before hitting the front themselves late in the game, enter McAuley.

The ball was then played to the 21-year-old straight from the kick-off and he calmly lobbed goalkeeper Paul Martin from a metre behind the halfway line to send his team wild.

You could hear the commentator shout “What a goal” and “unbelievable” wereas McAuley wheeled around in celebration, stripping off his shirt as his teammates jumped on top of him.

“As soon as I’ve seen the ‘keeper step up I thought I had to hit it and I knew as soon as it left my foot it went in. An unbelievable feeling,” McAuley said.

It was a beautiful touch that sent the game to a penalty shootout that McAuley’s Athlone Town would, unfortunately, end up losing to bring to an end an extraordinary eight-goal game that also saw both managers sent to the stands.

Another that were given marching orders was Anthony Wordsworth of Waterford, who has taken to social media to fume at the referee’s decision.

He wrote: “The ball doesn’t go out of play, I pass the ball to my team mate and get sent off for kicking the ball away 🤷🏻‍♂️ 🤣 I will miss a game next week but that ref will ref a game. Make it make sense”

Fans took to Twitter with reaction as the match sees an 124th minute halfway line equaliser and a very controversial sending off…


@Berminn27: What in gods name is the goalkeeper doing??

@FFP83: He’s anticipating the long ball to the left wing. That’s why they all run that side & that’s why the goal scorer shapes to play that ball before cutting across the ball to turn it into a shot

@TyrrellJohn: That will win puskas hands down

@paul_winginit: What a hit as well. Powerful and flat trajectory, not a looper.

@dan_pepper1: This is fantastic

@bohsmark: My god!!! Body full of goosebumps

@kavo_: The absolute cheek to even attempt that. 🔥

@geedub28: Different gravy

@DeclanMahony1: What a goal 👏👏

@BrendanOC76: Tekkers on that man

@GildersBarry76: What a strike that is

@pauldclynam: It’s hard not to be romantic about football.

@declanjohara: We say it as a joke but the league constantly throws up absolutely crackers, without a doubt ##greatestleagueintheworld

@desie292: Take the yellow, what a screamer, what a goal


@Gl3nnC77: Another addition to the already horrendous level of officiating in the league

@Dslatts1974: I’d have taken the team off the pitch. The standard of reffing in the league is shocking( yes it’s a very tough job and the abuse they get is terrible) but how can he control a game when he can’t get that right.

@Chambo_afc: I mean yea the ref blew the whistle but you passed literally half a second later and it‘s not like you kicked the ball furiously away it was a pass. Refs are insane sometimes. This rule is stupid aswell, i remember van persie getting sent of for something similar

@BrianNicholso16: Shocking – I feel your pain. Can’t see how the ref booked you, clearly a pass and not a boot it away in frustration. Did the Lino flag that the ball had gone out? If so he’s clearly at fault too.

@gcbaynham: Piss poor decision – you haven’t kicked the ball away, you passed it – there was no dissent involved – We can see the ball never went out of play – some refs want to be bigger than the game. Did something happen earlier in the game – He was waiting his chance to do you

@rayhibs: One of the worse decisions u will ever c. I still can’t believe officials can be that bad. Yet they will still get another game next week while ur suspended.

@p02462599: A poor decision by Damien McGrath who is just one piss poor referee. Another poor decision in the long line of poor decisions by this referee.

@DexterBerglund: Games gone

@ishivickers: Abysmal reffing. Some have absolutely no clue.

@darylkb1: Watched this about ten times and still can’t get my head around it, one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen.

@MickyDonnelly: Not even a glance at the assistant? he was itching to send you off.

@Behan40Behan: @alancaw another ref to add to a already long list

@tpb1978: The lino has had a shocker by saying its gone out but for the ref to give a yellow for you kicking the ball a second after he’s blown the whistle is ludicrous. Both of them should miss a game.

@neilwITFC: What’s the point of having a linesman. Ref needs banning and fined

@dhutchings91: What an absolute shambles that is!

@jasmpm75: The standard of refereeing is rank rotten here and always has been. This goes on week in week out….

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