David Jeffrey admits it has been a very tough week

Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey
Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey

Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey admitted the past week has been one of his toughest in a long time.

The Sky Blues suffered an agonising last-gasp defeat to Cliftonville in the County Antrim Shield final last Tuesday night.

Then star striker Adam Lecky was the subject of a record transfer bid by Irish League rivals Glentoran.

And to cap it all off Ballymena slipped to another defeaton Saturday, this time to Crusaders, despite a spirited display at Seaview.

“This week has been the toughest one in a long, long time,” said Jeffrey.

“I was reflecting with Bryan that when we were at Linfield we were on a run and we played Cliftonville in a cup semi-final at The Oval.

“We were winning 1-0 late on and they came back and beat us 2-1.

“At that stage it was okay because we had won five doubles and the following year we got another!

“And I remember Sean Armstrong scoring a late winner against us at Windsor Park and that was a down moment.

“But I’ve got to say that during the week was the cruellest.

“Losing to Crusaders today does compound it because I thought our players were magnificent.

“I think we deserved at least a point, unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

“Crusaders started like a house on fire, their movement was first class, it took a minute or two to work it out.

“After that I thought we played tremendously well.

“Josh Kelly, who ironically was the match winner the last time we were here, has a simpler chance which unfortunately went wide.

“Scott Whiteside had a great opportunity from a header.

“I said to the players that it should be 2-0!

“We applied ourselves fantastically well at the start of the second half, but Gerard Doherty makes a wonder save.

“The game turns on a situation were Anthony Kane and Clarke come together, there’s no doubt about it Clarkey flicks out a foot, and in my book that’s a free kick.

“I spoke with Raymond (Crangle) afterwards he said he thought the pair of them were together and that was a reaction to that and that one evened the other out.

“I didn’t agree with it but I respect the fact that Raymond takes the time to explain his reasons.

“I understand his rationale, but I didn’t agree with it, and it’s another decision which has gone against us.

“The second goal comes from a free kick when Jordan Owens and Scott Whiteside came together.

“I was ten yards away from it and I thought it was six of one and half a dozen of the other.

“We have players who have gone out and given absolutely everything, they didn’t in any way let the disappointment of Tuesday night affect them in any way.

“But despite giving our very best we couldn’t get ourselves over the line.