Crusaders on cloud nine after emphatic win over Carrick Rangers
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The north Belfast outfit went in at the break five goals to the good, after Ben Kennedy found the net four times (21, 25 (penalty), 28 and 40) following
Paul Heatley’s opener on 11 minutes.
The Irish Cup holders then scored another four unanswered goals in the second half through Philip Lowry (46), Billy Joe Burns (54), Jimmy Callacher (63) and James Teelan (79) to record a resounding 9-0 result.
Speaking to Carrick’s media team after the clash, manager King stated: “It’s totally uncacceptable. They didn’t listen. We knew what way they played. We didn’t track runners, we didn’t hit balls, we didn’t get competitive. I’ll take full responsibility. But what I’ll say, and I’m not making excuses, but they may be distracted with what’s going on.
"But I have to find the answers now, because that’s not really good enough at all. I’m not happy. It’s on my shoulders, they are my players. They have been outstanding for me, but I feel let down by them tonight. I’m not prepared to go away to any team and put in a performance like that. People have paid in to watch us tonight, including my own family and a lot of young fans and that’s the worst defeat I’ve ever been involved in in 25 years of senior football.
"They are meant to represent me. They’ve had loads of praise, but tonight’s not good enough. Crusaders were good, we were awful.”
Next up for the east Antrim side is a trip to Windsor Park to face Linfield, who went top of the early Sports Direct Irish Premiership standings last night after a 2-1 win over Cliftonville, on Saturday (3pm).
King added: “We re-group, we batten down the hatches. We’re not going to let our season overall be defined by that, maybe I will, but the lads won’t be defined by their result away to Crusaders. Thankfully we’re away again and we can go and give it a rattle.
"I don’t mind getting beaten, if there’s hard work, effort and commitment, but they didn’t listen tonight. We had a game plan and they haven’t done what they’ve been asked to do.”