Tommy Kincaid doesn’t need anybody to tell him that his team missed a great chance to start their climb up the league table when they miserably recorded a scoreless draw at home to Championship One newbies Coagh United last weekend. He says he feels the pain at least as much as anybody.
“We all know that Saturday’s match at home was one we should have been expecting to win, and I would have no hesitation in saying we were actually lucky to come out of it with a draw. So it hurts that we failed to perform,” he said.
“To be honest, I am extremely disappointed with what I witnessed and I can, therefore, well understand what it must have been like for those who paid good money to watch from the stands and see an inept performance.
“I’m the manager and people are thus entitled to look at me and hope to get some answers as to why we performed so badly under par and I really am at a loss at this minute as far as providing the answer is concerned. But I will have to get to the bottom of it.
“That said, for the first 15 or 20 minutes, I was quite happy with how we played. The guys seemed well up for the challenge at that stage. But then, for some inexplicable reason, the fight in them just died and we were going nowhere thereafter. Why they were so subdued, I just do not know!
“What is so annoying is that we gave the players the licence to go out and express themselves and give it a go and what we got was a mixture of great surprise and gross disappointment.
“I have already told them what I think but Tuesday night will see a pretty stern discussion about what went wrong and why they failed to deliver a display that was acceptable in some shape or form.
“In the final analysis, I would sum it up by saying that we had a few chances, but Coagh had more and better chances and perhaps were two goals a better team than Larne on the day.
“Losing Niall McAllister was a blow, his departure for two yellow card offences questionable in my book. The first one I would say was perhaps merited, but the referee couldn’t wait to get the card out the second time – because he was seemingly convinced that Niall was guilty of simulation.
“If you look at the incident on YouTube, you will probably agree with me that it looks like it should have been a penalty to us. However, from where I viewed the incident at the time, I would have to say that I couldn’t tell whether or not there was any contact,” explained Kincaid, who takes his players on the road to Newforge Lane this Saturday.
The occasion is a Steel and Sons Cup last 32 match against Bangor Rangers, another team about which not a lot is known.
“They play in the same division as Sirocco Works, Amateur League 1B I think, but it’s rather like the previous round match against Abbey Villa in that we must concentrate on getting our own game right and going out and doing what we do best – rather than worrying about the opposition’s style of play and their strengths or potential weaknesses.
“It’s a match that we will obviously be desperately keen to win and we will have to approach it with the right attitude. That message will be put across to the players,” assured Kincaid, who had planned what he described as a ‘bounce-ball game’ for Tuesday night training to give some players a bit more match-time opportunity.