Match Reaction

McAree disappointed to exit Irn-Bru Challenge Cup

COLERAINE boss Rodney McAree spoke with Jonathan McNabb after watching his side lose out in the third round of the Irn-Bru Cup…

The Bannsiders shaded the first-half but failed to convert chances through Darren McCauley and Aaron Burns, with Andy Owens also going close for the home side.

The Nomads made the breakthrough on the hour mark as skipper George Horan headed home before the Stripes lost Stephen Lowry and Stephen O’Donnell to red cards in the space of five minutes. The Welsh side secured their passage into the quarter-final in added time as Owens converted from close range after a strong run by substitute Michael Bakare.

Speaking after the game, boss McAree admitted he was disappointed with the result in Wales but was proud of his side’s efforts.

“It is disappointing to have the lost the game,” he said.

“When it was 11 vs 11, I thought we were the better side and we came here after a long days travelling, not many players got a rest in terms of lying down, but 11 vs 11 I very happy with how the match was going.

“When you lose one man it becomes difficult, but to lose another man so soon after made it an even bigger uphill task, but at stage we tried to stay in the game for as long as we can and get an opportunity from a set-piece.

“I’m very proud of my players. I thought they put a shift in and they worked extremely hard for the club. It was great to see so many travelling fans here who gave us a terrific backing.

“It’s just a shame we couldn’t reward them with a result.”

McAree was left frustrated with Stephen Lowry’s first booking but had no complaints with Stephen O’Donnell’s dismissal.

“The red card after the goal killed us and Stevie’s first booking is out of frustration as he felt we should have had a penalty kick, and we also have that viewpoint,” he added.

“He’s then walking a tightrope for the rest of the game and we always knew that a little half niggle on somebody was going to result in a second yellow and that’s what happened.

“For Stephen O’Donnell’s red card, the ball is over the top and he’s trying to get back goal side and the two of them more or less run over the top of each other. In that position, if the referee gives a free-kick then Stephen was going to be red carded.”

The Bannsiders went into the fixture without the services of Gareth McConaghie, Aaron Traynor and Jamie McGonigle who were all carrying knocks.

“Big G felt he needed the weekend’s rest in terms of healing his lower back,” he concluded.

“Aaron Traynor has picked up a little knee problem so there was a change there.

“It was a great chance to play Skinner uptop and give him a few minutes because we knew we would get a good 65 or 70 minutes out of him.

“It feels like we are unfortunate with injuries but we pick ourselves up and go again. I don’t think there’s any point in feeling sorry for ourselves that we’ve picked up another injury.

“We will have a bit of bonding time this weekend, get to know each other a bit more and get back at it on Tuesday night at training.”