“It’s time to pick ourselves up and move on to the next challenge; Saturday’s over and done with. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we can take the positives from what was a reasonable performance,” reflected a determined Davy McAlinden after Larne’s great winning run came to an end against Ards.
The manager’s assertion that he wouldn’t settle for a draw, had it been offered beforehand, was based largely on the premise that a true winning mentality is simply founded on the desire to beat the opposition every single time.
Thus he didn’t regret his preview rejection of the idea of settling for a point.
“A draw looks good now,” quipped McAlinden with a wry smile. “We didn’t match the performance levels we’d been hitting in recent weeks, but we not overly disappointing either.
“I am happy that we went out to do our best to beat the title contenders and, while it didn’t work, I think we showed we are still progressing and we could have stolen the points on another day.
“We did well in terms of character in the first half, going in at 1-1 when, in fact, Ards would have been entitled to be thinking they should already have the points in the bag. Truthfully, they could have had it wrapped up by then.
“In the second half we played much better and I thought that whichever team scored the third goal would probably go on to win the match. An error on our behalf gifted them the decisive goal and that was perhaps the most disappointing aspect of all.”
He added: “It was a great advert for football in our league because both teams played 4-2-4 for most of the game and it was a great attacking spectacle and we competed really well in the second half.
“Also, I think we must pay tribute to the big travelling support. They were terrific, many of them staying behind to commend the players for the effort shown - and I hope they will keep coming to give us their vocal backing.
“Now we have back-to-back matches at home, starting with Lisburn Distillery who will present a stiff test for us on Saturday. We will sit down and assess how everybody has come through the Clandeboye Park game.
“What we do know is Michael Smith will not be playing after coming off in the second half with a suspected torn groin.”