Ferguson rues United ‘capitulation’ in Linfield defeat

The Ballymena United defence comes under pressure during Saturday's 4-0 home defeat by Linfield. Picture: Press Eye.
The Ballymena United defence comes under pressure during Saturday's 4-0 home defeat by Linfield. Picture: Press Eye.

Ballymena United boss Glenn Ferguson was left to rue his side’s second half “capitulation” in Saturday’s 4-0 home defeat by Linfield.

The Sky Blues conceded four goals and had defender Tony Kane sent off inside a manic 13-minute spell which ended the game as a contest.

“I’m really disappointed with that spell,” said Ferguson.

“At half-time I had a good chat with the boys and told them we were well in the game.

“Neither team had played that well in the first half and neither team had really tested the other keeper but we had scrapped and done the ugly side of the game well.

“I told them to go out and play with a bit more confidence and for 15 minutes in the second half we did that and took the game to them.

“Then in a seven minute spell we capitulated and conceded three goals which were all very much preventable.

“The first one they played round us far too easy, the second was a mistake from Jim Ervin that Tony Kane has tried to cover.

“It was probably a wee bit naive -he shouldn’t have made the challenge because he knows it’s going to be a penalty.

“Paul Smyth still has to score but Tony says his momentum has taken him into Smyth but it was always going to be a yellow card and a penalty and we’re down another man.

“The third goal just killed the game off and we just lost everything after that.

“I tried to step back and have a look at the players to see who really wanted to try to do something and there wasn’t too many.

“The first goal came after we had a corner which was cleared into our half and we gave away a throw-in which went straight back to the thrower, the ball was played down the line and the midfielder wasn’t tracked on his run into the box.

“It’s simple, simple stuff. If you work hard enough and are a bit more sharper you can stop that.

“We said when the rain came on we thought a mistake was going to win the game. Jim was caught off balance and Paul Smyth is very sharp and it was maybe the pace that beat Tony.

“Our job as a coaching staff is to raise the boys on Tuesday and Thursday night and get them ready for a desperately hard game at Ballinamallard,” added Ferguson.