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No half measures: Magilton

Jim Magilton declared that Cliftonville should not be satisfied with their first-half performance at Coleraine yesterday – because their display after the break meant they didn’t see the job through.

Leading courtesy of goals from Paddy Burns and Rory Hale, the Reds let things slip as the Bannsiders hit back to claim a late share of the spoils.

“I’m extremely disappointed, angry and upset,” said Magilton.

“From being in total control of the game to not really producing anywhere near the standards in the second-half was extremely disappointing. We’ve given away two really poor goals and allowed a team back into a game that should have been dead and buried.”

Things might have been different but for a bizarre intervention from Storm Kathleen, which took a grip on The Showgrounds in the closing stages.

After an unpredictable wind had blown the ball in Ronan Hale’s direction in front of goal, a timely gust appeared to take it off his toe to prevent him from making a full connection and, when Coleraine – who had earlier reduced the arrears through Matthew Shevlin – broke forward, Jamie Glackin’s fierce delivery swept goalward and took a wicked bounce off the turf before striking David Odumosu and crossing the line.

Magilton was, however, in no mood to offer any excuses, especially given that victory would have rubberstamped a European place which was later confirmed courtesy of Glentoran’s goalless draw with Linfield.

“Conditions played their part but so what?,” he added.

“You have to play the conditions. It was just our general play in the second-half wasn’t anywhere near the levels we’ve set. That was disappointing because I felt that, coming in at 2-0 up at half-time, if we put our foot on the accelerator, we can go on and win the game, take the three points and go up the road with European qualification secured, so I’m extremely disappointed that hasn’t happened.

“It wasn’t good enough in the second-half when we gave ourselves a lovely cushion to go and win the game but we didn’t take it.

“If you’re 2-0 up any game, you should see it out. We should be in control of the game. We understand there’s going to be a reaction from the opposition, but we were so passive in the second-half and that’s what really upset me – we didn’t smell the opportunity to go on and win the game outright.”