Players paid the price for ‘switching off’ - Ferguson

Ballymena United.
Ballymena United.

GLENN Ferguson said his Ballymena United players “switched off” in conceding a last-minute winner in Saturday’s Irish Cup tie against Coleraine.

“It was a horrible 30 seconds,” said Ferguson as he reflected on David Scullion’s winner, just a minute after Ballymena had brought the game back to 2-2.

“At two each I thought we were going to get what we deserved from the game – I thought over the course of the 90 minutes that neither team deserved to lose it.

“I thought a draw would have been a fair result, take it to a replay and see what happened.

“When we got the equaliser, our players probably, as I did, thought we had done that and switched off at the corner and we got punished for it in the dying seconds.

“That’s the cruelty of cup football and when you concede at that stage, there’s no way back.

“You’re always disappointed when you concede from a set-piece. The corner has flew past the six yard box, probably past three of our players, it’s bounced off the shins of one of their players and their players have reacted quicker than ours, which is disappointing.

“We had more players in the box defensively than they had but we didn’t take responsibility and we got punished.

“We started the game really well and when you’re on top like that you need to be more professional, create chances and take them or ultimately you do get punished.

“Gavin Taggart said he had turned round after hitting the shot because he thought the keeper had it – it’s a goalkeeping mistake but you would take one of those.

“It was ironic that we had a lot of the play and then went in front with a goal like that.

“I was disappointed with the goal we conceded for their equaliser – we let them get a cross into the box and you can’t do that with a predator like Curtis Allen.

“The second one was unfortunate as it was an own goal but we made a couple of changes and tried to throw everyone up top and we eventually got the goal.

“Gary Liggett probably thought his first goal for the club had got us a replay and a good result but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way.

“When you have so much play you’ve got to create more chances – they will probably say the same thing. Neither team created an awful lot and I had to think whether either keeper had to make a save of note.

“It’s hard to take but we’ve got to learn from it,” added Ferguson.