Rathfern Rangers’ manager Bill Campbell bemoaned ‘five minutes of madness’ during which his side conceded three goals in Saturday’s Clarence Cup 5-3 defeat to St Patrick’s Young Men at the Diamond.
Blasting the early second-half spell, he said: “It was ridiculous, a total lack of concentration. That should just not be happening, especially at this level!”
In recent times, Rathfern have been prone to conceding late goals, such as Ballynahinch United’s last-gasp equaliser, scored by the keeper, not to mention St Pat’s leveller to make it 2-2 right on half-time at the Diamond.
Rangers could have been practically out of sight, with Gary Orr forcing two fine saves from the St Pat’s net-minder, as well as hitting the post before giving his side a deserved lead.
However, Rathfern were caught sleeping at the back as St Pat’s drew level with their first meaningful attack, only for Rangers to roar right back; again through Orr.
But then there was that last-gasp equaliser followed by that three-goal blitz at the start of the second half.
Typically, Rathfern didn’t give up as Orr went on to complete his hat-trick and the tie could have been set for another twist had David Moore not squandered two presentable offerings to make it 5-4.
“That first-half was the best we’ve played in a long time. St Pat’s were a big, physical side, but we bossed the game and we didn’t let them settle. Had we gone three up instead of just taking a one-goal lead, they couldn’t have argued – but as well as giving away poor goals at the back, we’re not taking our chances and killing teams off,” said Campbell. “Gary Orr has now scored 18 this season, but our next highest is Alan Kerby with five. That tells its own story!”
Slideshow: Rathfern Rangers v St Patrick’s YM
Rathfern host Ballynahinch United at The Diamond in Division 1A tomorrow (kick-off 2pm).