BALLYMENA United’s players got short shrift from manager Glenn Ferguson after a sub-standard performance in Saturday’s 1-0 Danske Bank Premiership defeat at Donegal Celtic.
All talk of County Antrim Shield success was quickly forgotten as Ferguson rounded on his players for a dismal display at Suffolk Road.
“I told the players on Thursday night that it was history, it was in the bin and we needed to move on and get the points in the league and get a level of consistency.
“We didn’t do that but it was the manner in which we didn’t do it that annoyed me.
“We were outfought, outbattled and Donegal Celtic wanted it more than us.
“We thought it was just going to happen, and we waited for someone else to do things.
“As a whole, all over the park we just weren’t good enough and I was bitterly disappointed with our attitude.
“In the second half we huffed and puffed but didn’t play the football we have been doing – fair play to Donegal Celtic who slowed the game down and stopped us from doing that.
“We told the players that if DC got in front, with something to hold on to, they would make it very hard for us and that is exactly what happened.”
Ferguson was also critical of referee Raymond Hetherington’s decision to rule out David Cushley’s second half header for a foul on goalkeeper John Connolly, even though it appeared the United midfielder had cleanly out-jumped the Celtic keeper.
“I thought it was a dreadful decision,” said Ferguson.
“If two central midfielders go for that challenge in the middle of the park and one of them wins that header, it’s play on.
“Goalkeepers to me are a protected species – for me, Cush has jumped early, won the header, put the ball in the net and been punished for it.
“Officials have a hard job but they have to get the big decisions right if we’re going to make this work,” added Ferguson.