Donegal Celtic 1 Ballymena United 0
Glenn Ferguson says watching his Ballymena United side this season is like “reading a report from a faulty heart monitor”.
Last Tuesday the Sky Blues were in heaven after beating defending league champions Linfield to win win the Co Antrim Shield. On Saturday, the experience was hell on earth as United were tortured by league strugglers Donegal Celtic.
Ferguson refused to blame the party-mood which his players arrived with at Celtic Park, citing instead a frustrating lack of consistency.
He said: “We spoke about the Co Antrim Shield win on Thursday and the message was that it was history and that the players must move on. But they did what they have been doing all season, they switched off when the going was good.
“You can’t beat Cliftonville one week, lose to Linfield, then lose to Cliftonville, then go and beat Crusaders, then win a trophy and then come to Donegal Celtic and lose. It’s just not good enough.”
Dubliner Shane Dolan got the only goal of the game in the 37th minute and Celtic should have scored more, unlucky to see a Darren McNamee shot hit the crossbar and apparently go over the line, while referee Raymond Hetherington also ruled out a David Cushley effort for a foul on goalkeeper John Connolly.
Ferguson was far from pleased with the official’s decision – but conceded his team “deserved nothing” from the entertaining clash at Celtic Park.
He said: “I wasn’t happy with the performance. Donegal Celtic outfought us, made it very hard for us, and we had absolutely no quality in our play. We just couldn’t get going.”
Donegal Celtic boss Pat McAllister, recording his second win in five games since his recent appointment, said: “I stand by my criticism of the players after the defeat to Crusaders but I am proud of them now. It was like night and day.
“There are quality players at this club and what they bring to the training ground is first-class but they haven’t been bringing to the pitch on a Saturday.”