Gary Smith's post-game comments following 3-0 loss at New York in Open Cup play-in match:
On the match:
“I thought New York took their chances ever so well, the ones that were created. They played some very nice football, and deservedly won the game tonight.
We had our chances, but failed to convert, and in a game where goals mean so much, that is the difference tonight.
Their finishing was very decent, (John) Wolyniec’s two finishes in the first period were clinical, and it just rounds off for them a decent period in possession. We had a couple as well, but sadly couldn’t convert.”
On the lack on finishing in the first half:
“There were some important moments. Wells Thompson has a fabulous chance before anybody finds their seat in the stadium, fails to hit the target. Even going in at 2-nil, he has another fabulous chance, 10 yards from goal, and (Greg) Sutton makes a decent save. But reality is, he should finish first time, and suddenly we’re back in the game.
So there were important moments, and if you don’t take advantage of them, they’re not going to come around every minute or two. They’re had to work for, tough to create, and in the end, it means that some of the guys start to feel, literally, the heat because they’re not coming back in the game.
And they start to get despondent, and I think to a degree, that’s what happened on the third goal. An uncharacteristic mistake from Drew Moor, and 3-nil is very, very difficult to come back from then.”
On New York’s play:
“I though they played ever so well tonight. Some of the younger guys showed some real quality and patience in possession. It looked they’re a confident team. They’ve done well in the previous rounds here in the Open Cup, and let make no mistake about this.
In an Open Cup game, when I’ve come with a stronger side, I wanted to be in the next round, there’s no doubt about that, but home field advantage means a lot. It was 80 degrees out there, it was very humid.
Absolutely no excuses for losing the game, but when you’re traveling four hours on a plane and running into that sort of humidity, it can sway things in your favor.
Tonight, on top of some poor finishing, it swayed quite heavily in New York’s favor.”
On turning the attention to the regular season:
“I would have loved to have advanced in the Cup. I’m not going to say that were pleased that were out, or else I wouldn’t have brought the team that I had. I’m disappointed, the players are disappointed, but what it is, is a cup.
We still had three or four guys out there that haven’t been a regular part of our first team. Those guys will come back in the weekend, they need to give us an injection of energy, and hopefully confidence.
We’ve got a big game at the weekend now. That’s why it is a cup, it’s very different. You get knocked out, you don’t get a time to recover. And now the guys can mentally and physically prepare themselves for the weekend.”