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Teenage Ballboy Speaks Out After Player Gets Six-Match Ban

By PJ Browne
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The FA yesterday handed Leyton Orient captain Liam Kelly a six-match for pushing a ballboy during his side's 3-2 win against Plymouth on Tuesday night.

In the 86th minute of the game, with his team trailing 2-1, Kelly pursued the ball after Orient had won a corner. Moments before he could get to the ball, the ballboy had already rolled it towards the corner taker.


Despite the ballboy, Jake McClean, making no attempt to slow down the game - and not that it would have been acceptable anyway - Kelly chose to shove the 17-year-old to the ground.

Speaking to the Plymouth Herald, McClean explained what happened.

I went to Argyle on a normal Tuesday to just do my job there. It's what I do for every home game.

I went to retrieve the ball to throw it out for a corner – I could see their number 7 walking over to get ready to take it.

And as I did that the Leyton Orient player (Kelly, number 4) came over to me and shoved me to the floor.

I didn't feel as if I was going slow or having any impact on the game. I was just doing it how I would normally.

I was just doing it the same way I would have done if it was an Argyle corner.

So for that to happen I just feel as if I didn't have any respect from the player for doing my job.

McClean said that what disappointed him more than anything was Kelly making no attempt to apologise after the game. He also added that those suggesting it being in the 'heat of the moment' somehow mitigated for Kelly's behaviour was not something which he could comprehend.

If I'm honest, I don't understand the 'heat of the moment' argument at all.

I could understand it if I'd been trying to delay the game.

It would have taken Orient longer to take that corner if I hadn't got the ball and (Liam Kelly) had to collect it himself and give it to his team-mate.

I've gone to retrieve the ball to make things quicker and, if anything, he's wasted time by pushing me on the floor because the referee's having to pick up on that.

Liam Kelly pushes ballboy

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