Oran Kearney pointed to individual errors as the reason why his side finished up empty handed from Saturday’s enthralling game against Cliftonville.
The Bannsiders were two goals to the good witgh only half an hour on the clock thanks to strikes from Gary Browne and Eoin Bradley. The Reds hit back drawing level just after half time thanks to Liam Boyce and Joe Gormley.
But the Bannsiders edged in front straight away thanks to Aaron Canning’s diving header.
Once again slack defending allowed Boyce to head home another equaliser and remarkably, despite going down to 10 men after Gormley’s dismissal, it was the visitors who grabbed the game’s seventh and match winning goal leaving Kearney mentally and physically exhausted on the touchline after watching this rollercoaster.
“I’m physically and mentally wrecked by that today,” he told Times Sport after the game.
“You go through every emotion on the touchline and you kick every ball.
“Two of the goals are from crosses in to our box and they’re close to the goal. You always want to make teams earn their goals, but we made it easy for them at times today.
“We changed tact a wee bit today in relation to how we played in recent weeks and we’ve scored three goals playing in this way.
“But when you score three goals at home you should be coming away with all three points and that’s a very disappointing aspect for me.
“It all comes down to individual errors. When you defend corners you are looking for people to mark their opponent.
“From open play it’s hard to do that sometimes because people can show a bit of movement, but from a corner you get to see where your man is, you’re standing beside him.
“So when it comes down to basic mistakes like that it makes it even more disappointing.
“There’s still a few positives for us to take out of the game. We could have scored a few more goals, we just didn’t take them when they came our way.
“But those are the turning points in games.”
Kearney was quick to praise Cliftonville for what he called a Championship winning performance on the day.
“You have to give Cliftonville a lot of credit,” he said.
“They were behind three times on the day and reduced to 10 men but they still showed the character to go on and win the game.
“No matter what I feel about the manner of the goals we conceded, or how we conceded them it was a champion performance from them for the fact that they never lay down throughout the 90 minutes and always believed they could get something from the game.”
Goal-scoring hero Diarmuid O’Carroll said his side still believed they could win even after going down to 10 men.
“If you are going to win leagues you have to show a bit of resilience and battle back when the chips are down,” he said.
“That was brilliant for us today and hopefully it will stand us in good stead for the rest of the season.
“Obviously when you lose a man when the game is so tight you do worry a bit. But we were doing really well at the time. I think from ten minutes before half time onwards we looked the most likely team to score even though they managed to grab a third.”