Linlithgow Rose manager Brown Ferguson watched his side crash out of the Football Nation Qualifying Cup at home to Whitehill Welfare.
Tuesday night’s 3-2 defeat after extra time – in a game rescheduled after last Saturday’s original tie was postponed because of a frozen pitch – saw the Prestonfield men dominate for large spells but fail to turn this ascendancy into enough goals.
Ferguson told the Journal and Gazette: “It was a really sore one to lose. We lost an incredibly soft goal in the first minute of extra time.
“We then got ourselves back in the game but I would have liked to see us having a more sustained period of pressure. And we never really managed to produce that in extra time.
“The third goal that we conceded was an incredibly poor goal. It could have been avoided.
“It’s a bitter one to take because, ultimately, I wanted to build – the Falkirk performance aside – on the away performance against Broxburn and we never quite did that.”
The game had finished 1-1 after 90 minutes and Ferguson reckons his team should have had sewn it up without the need for extra time.
“I think we had the vast bulk of the ball,” he added.
“With regards to that, you could probably say we deserved to take more from it.
“However, I just think we never created enough opportunities from the possession we had.
“We just never really played with enough intensity and possibly weren’t positive enough.
“Whitehill managed to get bodies behind the ball quite quickly and they managed to stop us playing through them that often.
“They scored a goal from 30 yards with 15 or 20 minutes to go, which is hard to knock at times. It was a good strike from distance.
“The lesson we need to take is that, when we’re on top, we need to be more forceful. We’ve only really got ourselves to blame.”
Linlithgow, eighth in the East of Scotland Premier Division with 15 points from nine games, return to league action at Jeanfield Swifts this Saturday.
“The league table is incredibly false at this time,” Ferguson said. “Because there are so many teams with different games played, et cetera.
“It’s really hard to gauge. Regardless of what any other teams do and if I look at the league season that Linlithgow have had, and the performances that Linlithgow have had from the start of the season, it’s been very inconsistent.
“There have been some good results within that period, followed up by some poor results. Regardless of the league table, we need to focus on consistency.”
Ferguson faces selection problems for the Jeanfield match, with Gary Thom struggling with a knee injury, Ian Gray doubtful with a foot injury and Ruari MacLennan suspended.
“These problems are starting to add up for us,” Ferguson said. “They are big players for us.
“The guys we are talking about are key figures within the changing room and on the pitch. They are big losses but that’s why there is a squad.”