Ill-discipline costs Dungannon Swifts

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 11th February 2017 - Photo by William Cherry

Referee Steven Taylor send Dungannon's Seanan Clucas off after a tackle on Coleraines Lyndon Kane during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the Showgrounds, Coleraine. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th February 2017 - Photo by William Cherry Referee Steven Taylor send Dungannon's Seanan Clucas off after a tackle on Coleraines Lyndon Kane during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the Showgrounds, Coleraine. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Frustration was the mood in the air when Rodney McAree tried his best to sum up Saturday’s defeat at Coleraine.

The Swifts boss knew his side had let a great opportunity slip from their grasp in their battle to secure a place in the top six.

A solid first half performance saw the visitors take a 1-0 lead thanks to Ryan Harpur’s 37th minute penalty after Kris Lowe had been felled in the box by Davy Kee.

But 15 minutes of madness at the start of the second half saw Dungannon pegged back by a soft penalty before they were reduced to ten man after Seanan Clucas saw red.

It got worse for the visitors as James McLaughlin headed in what turned out to be the winner with 20 minutes to go.

“I’m disappointed with the result in the end,” McAree told Times Sport afterwards.

“It wasn’t pretty today, I think the conditions sort of created that, but we knew that today would be about trying to grind out a result.

“I thought we had done quite well up until the sending off, it was an up hill battle after that.

“I was very happy at half time, but I still thought we could do a bit better.

“Unfortunately we’ve paid the price for a bit of ill-discipline, and the second goal Andy (Coleman) has made the wrong decision.

“As a keeper you have to decide whether you come for a ball or not, as I say unfortunately it proved to be the wrong decision today and we have paid the price for it.”

McAree had questions over the award of Coleraine’s penalty.

He felt there was nothing Andrew Burns could do to get out of the way of McLaughlin’s powerful shot.

“I thought their penalty was harsh on Burnsy, he was only two or three yards away from the player when he struck it,” he said.

“It’s disappointing it has been given, but we see it time and time again.

“You’re not really sure where you are meant to put your arms.

“Coleraine maybe thought our penalty was a little bit harsh too, but if it’s a foul in the box it’s a penalty.”

McAree though felt the referee got the decision right with regards to the sending off.

Clucas clashed with Lyndon Kane following a tackle, and McAree said that ill-discipline cost his side.

“We spoke at half time about keeping our discipline and being hard to break down, unfortunately the one thing we didn’t do was keep our discipline,” he said.

“Seanan has made a rash decision, I haven’t saw it back, but I’m aware his foot has caught Lyndon while they were on the ground the referee interprets that as a red and I have to accept that.

“I think it’s probably the correct decision.”

McAree’s opposite number Oran Kearney was pleased to see his side bounce back and grab their eighth win in a row after a disappointing first half display.

“We always preach performance, performance performance, but the first half today was abject, it was as poor as it has been over the last seven games,” he said.

“But the players are only human, it’s not going to be beautiful every week.

“When you get games like that you have to manage it, there was a strong wind in the first half and we tried to get in at half time 0-0.

“The penalty was clumsy more than anything, but beyond that I don’t think they were scoring in the first half.

“It would have been nice to go in at the break 0-0 as it would have made the task of going on and winning the game that bit easier.

“We gave ourselves more of a mountain to climb to climb than we needed.

“The second half was completely different, it was like chalk and cheese, it was more like the performances we have put in over the last month.”