MANAGER BLASTS APPALLING DISPLAY
Kerr is furious over defeat
Dalbeattie Star boss Darren Kerr blasted his players after their “appalling” display against Gretna 2008 on Saturday.
The Islecroft side lost 5-2 in the local derby and now trail the Raydale Park side by eight points.
Kerr was furious with his side and said: “There’s nothing more that can be said than it was a shambles from the first whistle.
“Gretna were far superior all over the park, they won every battle, they won everything in the air and it’s not how we’ve played in the last month.
“The only good thing we did in the first half was score a goal and that was against the run of play. We had players going to kick the ball and STUART GILLESPIE missing it and boys slicing the ball out of the park.
“We had a chat at half-time and I didn’t think we could be any worse in the second half than we were in the first but I was proven wrong.
“It’s all well and good turning up against the bigger teams and not coming away with anything but we need to be performing against the teams round about us. We made three slight errors against East Kilbride the week before and were punished. On Saturday we made lots of errors in the first half against Gretna and weren’t punished.
“On another day Vinnie Parker could have saved all five goals but he couldn’t with the way they came into him and that’s nothing against Vinnie.”
Lee Wells’ header from Lewis Sloan’s cross gave Star the lead but the sides were level again when Daniel Smales fired in the equaliser.
And just before the break Gretna took the lead, Jake Smith curling home a freekick.
Things got worse early in the second half when Smales forced in his second before Stuart Gray added the fourth.
There was a glimmer of hope when Aiden Kerr converted Liam Park’s cross but that vanished when there was a defensive error and Kevin Connelly scored.
Although critical of his players, Kerr also felt key decisions went against his team.
He explained:“We were appalling – but we weren’t helped by the officials. For the third goal their boy is standing in the middle of the 18 yard box and scored.The linesman says it came off a Gretna player but it wasn’t him and the referee sad it didn’t come off a Gretna player. Our players went ballistic.
“The officials aren’t why we lost but if it had only been 2-1 then you don’t know what could happen. “Another big decision was when Lewis Sloan was the victim of violent conduct and the linesman said he’d turned away and didn’t see it. The referee said he did see it but it was only a yellow card. How can that be? Assault is assault.
“We had already had to delay kick-off as the referee didn’t turn up until five past three due to his work and maybe that disrupted us. Surely if he wants to be a referee he should be there at two o’clock?
“That’s not why we lost, we were little boys against the men of Gretna. Stuart Rome has winners in his team and they are aggressive but in a fair manner.”
Star now need to regroup for Saturday’s game with Cumbernauld Colts as they bid to avoid the Lowland League drop.
They’re five points above bottom sideWhitehill Welfare but have two games in hand.
Kerr said:“There will be changes.There were three boys who didn’t get on on Saturday who’ll feel they should get a chance.
“We can’t afford any more performances like we Saturday between now and the end of the season – if we do there’s only one way we’ll be going.
“We played Cumbernauld not that long ago and they are a good side.They were beaten by East Kilbride but they have some quality players, although they are a different side on grass to Astroturf and their results show that.”
Star are hoping striker Ben Irving will have recovered from the flu along with defender RossThomson who had to go off at half-time at Raydale. GoalieVinnie Parker is struggling with a knock.
And they are also in negotiations with Darvel to turn the loan deal of Allan Jenkins into a permanent contract. If not, Saturday’s derby defeat will be the experienced midfielder’s last game for Star.
Shambles Star defeat was described as “appalling”
Defeat Gretna came out winners by five goals to two on Saturday at Raydale.