Allan Jenkins admitted that defeat in the WASP Solutions League Cup final was one of the lowest points of his Ballymena United career.
“I have to say I took that defeat really sore,” said the Sky Blues’ Scottish captain.
“It’s the whole emotional rollercoaster - the lows of conceding in the first minute and being two down to the highs of getting it back to two each before the ultimate low of conceding the winner.
“When you look back at it in the cold light of day, we didn’t really force Peter Cherrie to make a serious save.
“Again we gave ourselves more work to do with the goals we conceded.
“When we conceded a goal inside the first minute I just thought to myself ‘here we go again’ but to our credit we showed a lot of character to get back into the game.
“At half-time we knew we had given away cheap goals but we knew as well that we had pulled back two goal deficits with less time remaining.
“There were times like when Jay Donnelly misplaced his pass trying to set up Joe Gormley and then Jay missed a chance himself and you begin to think ‘just maybe’, especially when we scored almost straight after those but it wasn’t to be.
“We had the momentum at that stage but although we were heading towards Cliftonville’s goal a lot at that stage, we didn’t really force a clear opening and they always looked dangerous.
“The injury to Eamonn Seydak broke the flow of the game and in a way it maybe galvanised Cliftonville.
“It’s never something you like to see on a football pitch and hopefully Eamonn’s injury won’t turn out to be too serious and we wish him well.
“I think when you look back on it now, Cliftonville deserved to win and you have to give them credit for that.
“But the world doesn’t stop turning just because we’ve lost in a cup final and we have to get ready and go again at Windsor Park on Saturday.
“We know that we have David Cushley getting fitter the more games he gets and we will have Gary McCutcheon back available for the next time we play Cliftonville in the Irish Cup so we have to focus on what is ahead of us.”