Match Reaction

“Gut-wrenching” exit – OK

COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney was full of praise for his side’s performance despite bowing out of the Irish Cup last night…

The Bannsiders would hold a half-time lead through Lyndon Kane’s fine finish after neat build-up play involving the full-back and Patrick Kelly.

However, the game would turn on its head after Joe Gormley levelled the scores despite the ball appearing to strike his hand, before Jamie McDonagh’s thunderbolt gave the Reds the lead.

There would be further frustration on 65 minutes as Matthew Shevlin was denied a penalty after being fouled twice inside the box.

“The result is very disappointing,” Kearney told Coleraine TV.

“I thought we were outstanding tonight to a man having played three games in six days.

“The energy levels, the performance, all aspects of it I think were top notch.

“Sadly, we’re standing here again talking about the guy in the middle.

“Make no bones about it, he’s made a couple of decisions tonight that are possible quarter of a million pound decisions or half a million pound decisions.

“For me, that’s the gut-wrenching aspect of it.”

Kearney heaped praise on his players for trying to get back into the game and labelled the decision to not award a penalty as “embarrassing”.

“It’s frustrating after we made a really good start,” he added.

“We’ve watched the first one back and it’s the clearest handball you’ll ever see.

“In games and nights like this, they can be momentum swingers but to be fair to our guys I thought we got right back up and on it again.

“I’ve seen the penalty back as well which is embarrassing to be honest.

“The player has had two nibbles at him and how our player gets a yellow card and a free-kick given against him is beyond me and not good enough.

“It’s not good enough on nights like tonight in big, big games at big, big moments in the business end of the season.”