The incident occurred during a game between Glentoran, for whom Burns plays, and Coleraine in the NILF Premiership.  Glentoran's goalkeeper Aaron McCarey ran over to his teammate and appeared to strike Burns in the face after Coleraine's equalizer. 

After Burns fell to the ground McCarey continued his aggression towards his defender, grabbing his shirt while Burns clutched his face.  It wasn't until an intervention by teammates that McCarey released his hold on Burns.

Burns remained on the ground for a small period of time after the incident.  McCarey for his part was was shown a red card and sent off.  

Glentoran manager Mick McDermott tried to downplay the incident in the post match interview:

 "I am more concerned about how we conceded the goal before the incident.  

McDermott added: "Aaron has come into the dressing room and said he shouldn't have done it, he has held his hand up and Bobby Burns the same.

"They're both gutted with what happened, so look, we'll deal with it. I spoke to Bobby and he said he didn't strike him in the face. There was no contact with the face."

However, Glentoran legend Paul Leeman who was acting as a match official summarised the fracas.

"I saw it when it happened and I couldn't believe it. The players weren't happy when he did that."

Despite being down one man Glentoran were able to hold onto the draw in the final minutes of the game.  It ended 2-2 as it stood when McCarey's strike on Burns occurred.

Burns had previously played in the A-League two seasons ago in 2019-20 when he was sent on loan from Scottish side Hearts of Midlothian.  He made 16 appearances for Newcastle Jets.  


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