FULL POST-MATCH REACTION: The view of Loughgall manager Dean Smith after losing 2-1 against Crusaders

Loughgall’s Pablo Andrade celebrates scoring their equaliser against Crusaders. PIC: INPHO/Stephen Hamilton
Loughgall’s Pablo Andrade celebrates scoring their equaliser against Crusaders. PIC: INPHO/Stephen Hamilton

On frustration after losing late on

"I’m frustrated with the result because we battled hard.

"It probably wasn’t the prettiest game to watch ever but we certainly battled hard and we restricted them to very little chances.

"Sometimes as a manager all you ask for is everything out of your players and we got that today.

"I have to be happy in that respect and you can see how disappointed they were at full-time.

“I just said to them that 12 months ago Crusaders weren’t even on our radar and now we’re bitterly disappointed not to get anything in a game against them, so it shows how far this group have come.”

On standing up to physical battle

"We knew what Crusaders were about and they play to their advantages – they’ve won many trophies and will continue to do so.

"We’re frustrated that we probably got sucked into their game in the first-half and maybe didn’t play as much football as we would have liked or wanted, but sometimes in games like today you have to grind it out.

"I thought we did enough to get a point but we have to give them credit and say that they fought right to the end.

"The biggest thing for us is that we didn’t look out of place today and that’s a big positive.”

On Crusaders winning goal coming with Loughgall looking to win rather than settle for point

"Maybe a wee bit.

"It’s how we are built. If we sit back and invite teams on then I don’t think we’re built that way, so we always want to be on the front foot and always trying to score goals with players going forward.

"Hindsight is a wonderful thing – maybe we should have sat back, I don’t know.

"I have no issues with how it ended – we would do the same thing again to try and get the winner.”

On Nathaniel Ferris’ performance

"Nathaniel has been out of the team the last few weeks and he came back today.

"He’s a super person to have in the changing room because he’s so positive with everything he does and you can see how hard he works in training during the week.

"He deserved his chance and I thought he put his body on the line, held the ball up, brought people into play and did the dirty side of what a centre forward should do.

"They had Jordan Owens on the other side who was a real handful also and I thought Nathaniel was an equal measure to that.”

On James Carroll, who suffered a nasty cut to his head in the first-half but continued on bandaged up

"He’s maybe going to need a few stitches or staples, we don’t know.

"It’s testament to him that he gets a really bad knock and he doesn’t want to come off.

"We bandaged him up to try and stop the bleeding – he probably was bandaged three or four times throughout the game and he still goes out and not only plays, but also put in a super performance.

"I thought he was super.

“As much as we went through the protocol of head injuries, I think a lot of it has to come down to the player as well and he was adamant that he was fine – he had no dizziness, no massive bump on his head and he wanted to play on.”

On rule which didn’t allow assistant manager Andy Smith to sit in the dugout for second-half after watching first-half from clubhouse balcony

"They keep changing the rule because we ask before games and keep getting different answers.

"We asked last week if it was alright for Andy to watch upstairs in the first-half and then come down for the second and they said yes, so we did the same today.

"We didn’t ask today because we were allowed last week and when he came down he was told to stand behind the dugout.”