Jeffrey rues missed chances in United defeat

Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey encourages his players during today's game against Ballinamallard. Picture: Press Eye.
Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey encourages his players during today's game against Ballinamallard. Picture: Press Eye.

Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey was left to rue missed opportunities as his side lost to Ballinamallard United today.

Stephen O’Flynn’s stoppage time penalty meant that United slumped to their second defeat inside a week, after being unbeaten in their first six games under Jeffrey.

“Up until the second half at Warrenpoint, the players have given everything that they could possibly give,” said Jeffrey.

“I challenged the players today, let’s get back on our feet again and concentrate on responding to the disappointment of the second half at Warrenpoint.

“I can’t tell you how difficult it is on that pitch - it is absolutely horrendous and the wind was as well. It made it desperately hard.

“It was very much can we see the first half out - we defended stoutly from a lot of free kicks.

“I thought second half was a matter of going out and getting at them and I thought second half we actually played well.

“Their first goal for me, Emmet Friars seemed to be standing yards offside. I’ve looked at the television pictures, it would appear there is more than a suggestion (of offside). When I asked the linesman who had played him on, he couldn’t tell me.

“To give the penalty away in that manner was very frustrating but if I put that to the side, if we had taken our chances, it wouldn’t have mattered. We should have been at least four goals to the good.

“I told the players they were motivated, they were organised, their attitude was good, I couldn’t fault their work-rate and the supporters are appreciating all of that but here’s the cold reality - if we want to move to the next level, we need to be able to take the chances when we’re in the ascendancy and kill teams off.

“That is the challenge for the players, for myself and Bryan McLoughlin and for Paul McAreavey, who we’ve appointed as our chief scout.

“We have got to be very clinical now that if we perform like that on any other day then the ball goes in the back of the net, the right decisions are made and we end up victorious.

“Today wasn’t a case of ‘the job’s done, we’re not interested, we’re just seeing the game out’ - that wasn’t the attitude in the dressing room and I wouldn’t even contemplate that.

“But in the cold analysis, at the crucial times, we didn’t take our chances. The players did everything I asked of them expect put the ball in the net,” added Jeffrey.