FOOTBALL: Platt frustrated by Irish Cup fiasco

Platt frustrated by Irish Cup fiasco

DAVID Platt was left scratching his head in bemusement on Saturday after another Irish Cup farce.

The Bannsiders had been scheduled to play either Wakehurst or Limavady United at the weekend in the fifth round of the competition.

But Platt's side were instead forced to play a friendly against neighbours Portstewart as it was ruled the outstanding fourth round tie should take precedence and be played on Saturday instead.

"I've just been left bemused by the whole saga," said Platt.

"It's similar to the Newry v Larne fiasco last year, which led to our quarter final being delayed for over a month.

"With the game being called off a couple of times due to the weather, suddenly this rule that it must be played on a Saturday comes into play.

"Surely the rules should allow for it to be played midweek, thus allowing the fifth round game to go ahead as planned this Saturday?

"Irish Cup fifth round day is one of the highlights of the season, it's a big competition for us and we'd love to go a step further than last season when we reached the semi finals.

"But this weekend we find ourselves having to play a friendly. It's immensely frustrating."

After several weeks of inactivity Platt though was pleased to get a workout against the Ports, with his side easing to a 4-0 win on the day.

"It was a good workout for us," he said.

"It's a lot better than just training. We've been in the last few Saturday's because we've had no game, so at least the lads who haven't had much game time of late were able to get a run out today.

"Johnny Watt, Stephen Lowry and Gareth Harkin have all found themselves missing out on action of late, so it was important for them to get as many minutes as possible today.

"Also it was pleasing to be able to give Gavin Cullen his debut. He's been carrying a little ankle injury of late so at least he got back in action today.

"Although he wasn't really tested, it was very important that he was on his feet for 90 minutes.

"His handling was good and he dealt with what was asked of him.

"The most important thing was we got through the other end without any problems and guys got a good workout."

Platt was also pleased to see David Scullion help himself to a couple of goals.

"Scully is another who hasn't been able to play a lot of football of late," said Platt.

"He's probably only managed about 180 minutes of football over the course of the last four months.

"Again it was important that he got some game time today. He's great at popping up in that hole where it's very difficult for defenders to pick him up. "His link play was very good and he took his goals very well so it will give him a bit of a boost."

Scullion fired the Bannsiders in front with a cool finish in the opening 10 minutes.

More good work from the front man before th half hour work led to the Bannsiders second as he was upended in the box allowing Leon Knight to fire home from the spot.

Scullion grabbed his second at the start of the second half after some neat football by the hosts. Knight completed the scoring as he latched on to a loose ball at the Ports waited for an offside before slotting home.