Wakehurst boss praises players in Cliftonville defeat

Wakehurst's Paul Muir challenges for possession with Cliftonville's David McDaid during Monday night's WASP Solutions League Cup tie at Solitude. Picture: Press Eye.
Wakehurst's Paul Muir challenges for possession with Cliftonville's David McDaid during Monday night's WASP Solutions League Cup tie at Solitude. Picture: Press Eye.

Wakehurst boss Ian Gregg heaped praise upon his players, despite the Ballymena side losing 6-0 to Irish Premiership champions Cliftonville in Monday night’s WASP Solutions League Cup tie.

“I was well pleased with our performance,” Gregg told Times Sport.

“We did exceptionally well against a virtually full-strength Cliftonville team.

“We conceded a goal inside the first minute and there was a real worry at that stage that we might implode.

“But we came more into the game, had a couple of chances of our own and they didn’t score until near half-time when they got two in quick succession to kill the game off.

“But we kept going in the second half against a really top team and there were loads of positives to come out of it.

“I’m a great defender of Irish League football, I don’t think players at Premiership level in this country get enough credit, and our boys came back to Ballymena fully aware of the difference in quality between Championship level and Premiership level, in terms of touch, speed and fitness.

“We had some chances ourselves, Ryan Gregg forced the goalkeeper to make a save from a volley at the far post and Andy Laughlin was through one-on-one, only to drag his shot wide.

“Tommy Breslin said he was impressed with how we kept going and the way we tried to play - I think he was expecting it to be more of a physical contest - so we appreciated his comments,” added Gregg.

Wakehurst: Tolan, R Young, Muir, Swann, Price, Mellon, Laughlin, Crawford, R Gregg, G Young, C Gregg. Subs: Cairns, Kirkwood, Stevenson, Colville, Millar.