STUART Addis admits that Ballymena United’s weekend defeat by Donegal Celtic has brought the players “back down to earth with a bump” after heir midweek County Antrim Shield win.
The goalkeeper admits he and his team-mates were baffled by the Sky Blues’ poor showing at Suffolk Road, just days after beating Linfield on penalties to win the club’s first major trophy in 23 years.
“I can’t put my finger on where that performance came from,” Addis told Times Sport.
“It was really disappointing after the high of the other night.
“After a great result during the week, the league is your bread and butter and we should be coming to DC and looking for three points but we didn’t put in a performance.
“It was a test of character – after winning a cup for the first time in a number of years, how would the players react? Would we push on or would we come back down to earth with a bump, which we did.
“None of us came out with any credit and it takes a bit of the shine away from the Shield success because the players went home gutted. We don’t expect the fans to say ‘sure it’s alright, we won the Shield’.
“The further you finish up the league shows how good a team you are.
“You can’t live off the Shield win and we put in a poor shift on Saturday and didn’t do ourselves any justice.
“We went in on a real high but when you go to DC it’s quite often a case of who wants it most – it’s always a battle and we didn’t win the battle.
“Their goalkeeper didn’t have a save to make - we didn’t make him work at al.
“They wanted the first and second ball more – in short, they outfought us.
“We have to get back to the grindstone and work hard on Tuesday and Thursday and hopefully we can put it right.”
Addis’ contribution to United’s Shield success – where he saved two penalties in the shootout – has almost been overlooked, with many people focusing on Aaron Stewart’s man-of-the-match performance at the back and Alan Davidson converting the winning penalty.
“At the end of the day I just did what I’m paid for,” he said modestly.
“I was delighted, especially after three loser’s medals in three years at Linfield. I was determined it wouldn’t be a fourth.
“It makes it even better when you are at a so-called ‘smaller’ club because obviously at Linfield you are expected to win everything whereas here you aren’t – that’s the reality of the situation.
“It was brilliant to be able to give something back to our fans, who were fantastic,” added Stuart.