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Maik Taylor under pressure

last updated Sunday 12th October 2003, 11:20 PM
Miak Taylor
Maik Taylor
Maik Taylor has revealed his outrage at coming within inches of being struck by a mobile phone thrown by a Greek supporter.

The incident - one of many in the Panathanikos arena - came after 12 minutes of their Euro 2004 qualifier.

"If it had hit me it could have been potentially fatal," said the Northern Ireland goalkeeper.

But instead of the impressive shot-stopper getting some sympathy from referee Lucilio Batista, he was booked for time-wasting.

Taylor, the last line of defence, found himself continually in the firing line.

"It was very intimidating with things being thrown on the pitch, " he said.

"I got booked for a mobile phone battery being thrown on the pitch. Then the mobile followed soon afterwards.

"You get some small mobiles these days - but this was a large one.

"They have got all the nets up there but it somehow managed to get through.

"I tried to bring it to the attention of the referee but he had already made his mind up. He came over at 100mph to show me the yellow card.

"I showed him the battery that finished a couple of feet away from the ball but he wasn't having any of it."

Taylor got a taste of what to expect when he came out for the warm-up.

"It was very daunting. When a firecracker lands four feet away and explodes and you feel the force of it on your ankle, it is worrying.

"When you are taking a goal-kick, you are half-looking over your shoulder wonder what's going on.

"You try to block it out as much as you can and try and get on with it.
Source PA Sport by Ken Gaunt
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