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Manager's thoughts on King Cup exit

We let ourselves down in the first forty five minutes.

It’s not often, if ever I’ve said a team comes to Whitestone Park and out fights us on and off the ball. But that’s exactly what happened in the first half. We were second to most things and there was a real sense from the sidelines that they wanted it a lot more than ourselves. That was the most disappointing factor. We lost a goal from a set piece but if truth be told we could have been at least two down before the break, so getting back in at half time was important. We changed a few things around and I felt that Robbie (Renwick) and Grant (Doyle) gave us the spark that we had been lacking. There was a much better sense of urgency in the second half and we at least started to play with a better tempo. We huffed and puffed and then Grant gets us back into the cup tie with a fantastic strike. The game then swings back and forward and it was looking as though we were headed into extra time but a Rovers recovery just wasn’t to be. We gave away another set piece in the dying embers and Yogi Scott, who I thought was the best player on the park over the 90, gets his second.

The boys know it wasn’t good enough for the standards they’ve set. I’ve often said to them that their hard work as a collective will separate them from the teams with the budgets that can attract a different type of quality, but yesterday’s game definitely wasn’t a reflection on who we are as a team. The only positive and slight saving grace however was that it’s more minutes in the legs after a long layoff so we at least never dropped any ground in the way of league points. The boys will bounce back though, of that I’m sure! There’s much better to come from this group.

We wish Ainslie and the South all the best in the next round.

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