Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley struggled to take any positives from his side’s 2-1 League One defeat at the hands of Queen of the South.
Summing the game at Balmoral Stadium up, Hartley said: “We didn’t get off to the ideal start and then I thought we were okay in the first half for about 40 minutes.
“We had some opportunities and we just maybe rushed things, and then we concede a goal just before half-time – so we lose a goal in the first couple of minutes and then we concede a minute before the interval, which is not ideal and it gives them a lot of confidence.
“I thought the second half we huffed and puffed a little bit, we didn’t test the keeper enough and when they went a man down, we just didn’t do enough to win it, to be honest with you.
“We just relied on a throw-in going into the box, we never worked their keeper enough and it was too easy for them to defend.”
Queen of the South got off to the perfect start when the pacey Harvey Walker broke down the left before cutting in and sending a low left-foot shot beyond Cove keeper Balint Demus.
The second Queens goal, deep in first half stoppage time, came when Will Gillingham held back Gavin Reilly just outside the box to earn himself a yellow card, and up stepped former Hamilton Accies youngster Reegan Mimnaugh to send an exquisite left-foot free-kick effort past Demus.
Midway through the second period, the visitors were reduced to 10 men when keeper Gordon Botterill appeared to spit at home skipper Mitch Megginson right in front of referee Alastair Grieve, and was shown a straight red.
However, despite the vast majority of possession, Cove never really tested substitute keeper Charlie Cowie.
In time added on, Gillingham was shown a second yellow for simulation, before, with the last kick of the game, Cove’s Tyler Mykyta fired home direct from a free-kick, similar to Mimnaugh’s, after fellow sub Mark Gallagher had been upended at the edge of the area.
Hartley added: “It doesn’t win you games, possession. It’s what you do with the ball and we didn’t move it quick enough and we didn’t cause them enough problems.
“And the sending off, if it’s for simulation, it’s not good enough from a player that’s experienced enough – he’s not a young kid, so we’re a man down for the trip to Alloa next week, and that’s out of order, and not acceptable.
“We’ve got to be better throughout the team and throughout the game, we have to do things better, we have to defend better, we have to attack better, so we need to wake up, it’s a tough league this if you’re not winning.”
On the injury front, Hartley gave an update on key long-term absentees, saying: “Fraser Fyvie took a wee setback last week and Blair Yule is hopefully not too far away, but we’ve still got a strong enough squad, but we didn’t do enough against Queens.”