Glenn Ferguson admitted he could barely find the words to describe Ballymena United’s Irish Cup Houdini act against Harland & Wolff Welders.
The Sky Blues boss surveyed the extraordinary final 15 minutes - which saw his side miss a penalty before scoring three times to go through - and admitted: “My heart rate was about 195 in the closing stages!
“You just don’t see the like of it apart from in cup football.
“We didn’t play particularly well. All credit to the Welders - they played a huge part in the game and can count themselves very unlucky not to be in the next round.
“I had a bit of a go at the players at half-time and even after the game. They’ve played better but they showed great character, even when they weren’t playing well, to keep going right to the end and they got their rewards.
“It wasn’t until the last 15 or 20 minutes that we started to get the ball into good areas, get it wider and the Welders started getting deeper and invited us on a bit more which I’m sure Gary wouldn’t be happy about.
“After missing the penalty I thought it was going to be one of those days but the players kept going and kept going and we got there in the end.
“Particularly after our last game here I told the players we had to start well and try to get ourselves in front.
“It was important that we didn’t let the Welders get in front to give them something to hold onto.
“I thought we started well and had three really good chances and I felt our attitude was right.
“They got a penalty which I don’t know about and for the one on Gary Thompson, we’re unaware why it was given.
“When you’re standing on the sidelines you can’t do a lot about it but I just said ‘that’s it, it’s just going to be one of those days’.
“We went a big gung-ho and went 3-3-4 in the end until we got something out of the game.
“The boys on the pitch made the difference. Once we made the changes, McCutcheon was good at getting the ball into his feet and making things happen and Darren Boyce provided a goal threat.
“I’m looking forward to, hopefully, at some stage, having a game where with 20 minutes to go we’re 3-0 up and I can sit in my seat and watch it and see how they react for the last 20 minutes.
“By all accounts over the years that doesn’t happen at Ballymena and it certainly hasn’t happened in my three and a bit years.
“But if it has to happen again in the semi-final, I’ll take it, put it that way.
“If we have to make another comeback and score in the last minute, so be it,” added Ferguson.