Glenn Ferguson believed his Ballymena United side didn’t play to anywhere near their full potential in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat by Linfield.
David Cushley’s wonder strike was the high point in an otherwise largely forgettable United display and Ferguson admitted: “We needed that wee bit of quality - we didn’t play well, didn’t pass it well and didn’t get into wide areas, probably because we don’t have enough wide players in the team because of injuries.
“We then had to move Tony Kane out of midfield to right back and reshuffle Jim Ervin to left-back and it upset the pattern a bit but we have players in the team who are better than what they showed today.
“We did well in the first half, they didn;t create anything of real note - I think Alan (Blayney) maybe only had one save to make from a free kick.
“We huffed and puffed and then Mr Cushley did what Mr Cushley does best - he wasn’t having a good game then he decides to score one from 50 yards. That’s what you get from him and it gave us all a lift.
“We knew we could match Linfield for work-rate, industry, desire and everything else - we did that in abundance in the first half but when you’re up against a team who have that added bit of quality you will get punished.
“We came in at half-time and had a good chat about what we need to do to win the game and one of the things we said was we need to track the midfield runners. We didn’t do it and we paid the price.
“Then for the first time in the game we tried to play out from the back and tried to play a ball around the corner which didn’t work and we got caught on the counter-attack for their second goal.
“We had a great opportunity late on - it was a blatant push in the back on Allan Jenkins in the box for a penalty but that aside we probably didn’t do enough to win the game.”
On Cushley’s stunning first strike, the manager said: “I’ve known him now for coming on seven years, playing with him and managing him and I’ve seen him score some outrageous goals but I think Saturday’s was the most outrageous of the lot.
“It was by no means a fluke - he knew exactly where the keeper was and knew what he had to do and he did it perfectly.
“That’s David Cushley in a nutshell - he didn;t have a particularly good game but when he got that chance he certainly lit up the stadium,” added Ferguson.