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Big moments got away from us: Jim

Jim Magilton acknowledged that Cliftonville failed to make the big moments go their way in last night’s clash with Larne.

Trailing to a fifth minute goal, the Reds saw big chances go to waste either side of the visitors extending their advantage on the hour-mark, leaving Magilton to reflect on what was ultimately a disappointing night at the office.

“We conceded two really bad goals at really bad times,” he said.

“Obviously, at the start of the game, you’re really focused on set pieces and making sure you defend them and we switched off.

“In between the goals, it was very competitive. There was a physical aspect to the game, we had to stand up for ourselves and I thought we did that.

“Towards the end of the first-half, we created one or two half-chances but then, in the second-half, when I thought we were getting on top, they’ve scored when we were actually dominant in the game. It’s a really poor goal from our perspective – it’s a great finish from Andy Ryan but it’s really poor from us; we should deal with that and he should never get an opportunity to score.

“We’re disappointed with that but we’ve created two fantastic opportunities and you don’t want them to fall to anybody else other than Ronan (Hale) and Ben (Wilson).

“I just think that our big moments didn’t go our way in the way they did on Saturday, when we took our chances, whereas we didn’t this time.”

Magilton stuck largely with the same XI that had started the weekend’s Irish Cup semi-final victory over the same opponents, save for the enforced change that saw Luke Kenny step in for the suspended Odhran Casey alongside skipper Chris Curran’s replacement of Kris Lowe in the middle of the park.

“Chris Curran had done so well and he had the impetus to go and carry on, and I thought Chrissy and Olly (Ronan Doherty) and Rory (Hale) were fine,” he said when asked about any considerations of over-exertion on Saturday.

“I know there were some dubious decisions shall we say and, again, they didn’t go our way and things will always come down to that moment of quality in these games.

“Some of our football was good, we carved them open once or twice and if we take those chances then it gives us breathing space, it gives us an opportunity to go on and really attack the game. Unfortunately, we were unable to do that.”