INSTITUTE manager Paul Kee blamed himself for their Irish Cup exit at the hands of Kilmore Rec.
Kee, who admitted going into the tie that he had a selection headache prior to kick-off, felt some of his senior players let him down.
“I can’t take anything away from Kilmore because they did very well. They worked their socks off for the whole game and they never stopped running so I have no complaints,” stated Kee.
“The only thing I will say is that the result is my fault because I got it wrong in the team selection and we were playing catch up from the start.
“Their effort, energy, attitude and application was first class and while they didn’t create that many chances, it’s nearly impossible to win a game with nine men.
“We didn’t appreciate how big this tie was but I picked the wrong team. Two or three senior players let me down but it was my fault.”
The Waterside man felt after Paddy McLaughlin’s mistake for Andrew Telford’s opening goal his side were always playing catch-up against a side who were well organised.
“If you give them a goal after 60 seconds it’s going to give them a massive incentive. They had something to hold onto after that.
“My concern in the first period was that we didn’t make enough chances. Their goalkeeper didn’t have to make any saves. We talked about it at half time but we couldn’t change it in the second half.
“They got men behind the ball and we knew also that they could hit us on the counter attack and they did that.”
Kee had no complaints with Graeme Taylor and John Curran’s dismissals but he did feel referee Tim Marshall could have sent-off a Kilmore player for a challenge on Graham Crown.
“The second sending off cost us big time. The two challenges were the same, but because it was down right in front of the dugouts and with the commotion behind that, the ref saw the two challenges differently.
“Crown got injured in the first challenge and the second was exactly the same. I expected the red card from the first one (on Taylor) because it was in the box but the Curran one definitely cost us.”
The ’Stute gaffer thought some of his players had a blasé attitude and because of that their recent impressive record rightfully came to an end.
“Kilmore deserved it, they worked hard whereas we had a blasé approach to our game.
“We didn’t have a cutting edge, we lacked penetration, but it just wasn’t our day. We won seven on the bounce so I can’t complain.
“It was a bad day all round but credit to Kilmore, they put in a lot of effort, but we just didn’t have the beef to meet the challenge which was disappointing.”
Meanwhile the club would like to thank match sponsor David McCready Body Work Repairs, Campsie and Brian Harkin from Browne Day Cars, Claudy for Saturday’s ball sponsor.
The club would also like to give a big thanks to Simon Burrows and Institute U13’s side for the mascots.