Ballymena United 3 Lisburn Distillery 3
Tim McCann will hope that 2013 will bring him a little more good fortune than the Lisburn Distillery manager has experienced in 2012.
It was the same old story for the Whites’ boss on Saturday as, for the second game in a row, his side kissed goodbye to three points with defending that would be an insult to schoolboys.
Three goals to the good, they were in the driving seat against Ballymena United thanks to Jordan Hughes’ double and Gary Liggett’s strike only for the wheels to come off in dramatic fashion.
Gavin Taggart pulled a goal back but the visitors were still very much in control, especially when Taggart got himself sent off for a foolish kick out at Ryan McCann but, when Aaron Traynor decided to match his madness by pushing his head into Tony Kane’s, numerical parity was restored.
It lifted a Ballymena side that had been driven on by teenage winger Peter Duffin — thrown on at the break by a less than chuffed Glenn Ferguson — and when David Cushley pulled another goal back it was panic stations for the Whites.
They capitulated with the final kick of the game which witnessed Mark Surgenor scoring from an almighty scramble from a corner
and at the end the visitors fell to their knees while McCann scratched his head.
“You think if you’re 3-0 up against a team you can safeguard that, but it was diabolical,” he said.
“Fair play to Ballymena, they threw everything at us but still we were hitting them on the break and creating chances, but couldn’t score.
“People have been saying all season we’ve played well but at this moment in time I can’t take any positives from it because I’m so down about it.
“So I’ve just got to go home, sit down with my family and have a think.
“We were in total control of the game, 3-1 up and they were down to 10 and there was no way they were going to come back and then Aaron Traynor loses his head and costs us the game, along with a number of other people who were poor.
“He shouldn’t have put his head anywhere near the other player and he’ll be disciplined and heavily fined.”
As for opposite number Glenn Ferguson it was another nerve-shredding day in the roller coaster ride that is being in the Showgrounds hot-seat.
“In the first-half we never turned up and carried too many passengers and at half-time we had a bit of a chat,” he explained.
“The players who weren’t doing anyway well in the first-half were left under no illusions that we weren’t happy and were looking for a bit of a response and they went up the pitch and we were 3-0 down.
“The rest then…to be totally honest when we scored the first one I thought we were going to get something from the game.
“They seemed to get deeper and deeper, let us come on top of them and sat back a bit and invited us on and, with a bit more luck, we might have even got a bit more.
“The keeper made a great save from Allan Jenkins, one from Dwayne (Nelson) and the young lad Duffin did great for us when he came on, he was super.
“He added a bit of spice, a bit of pace and he’s one of those you don’t know what you’re going to get from him.
“I was delighted for him but he came very highly recommended from Davy Dorrian, who says he was doing super for him in the Reserves so I took Davy’s word for it.”