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Athletic boss is demanding a ‘Trojan’ effort

Strabane Athletic’s players will have to be on the ball from the off on Saturday.

ABOVE all else Strabane Athletic manager Eamon Curry hopes tomorrow’s League Cup semi-final against Trojans passes off with any controversy!

Last time out Athletic felt aggrieved by the performance of the referee in their top-of-the-table 2-1 defeat to Magherafelt Sky Blues. Curry claimed that the referee had bowed to pressure from their opponents which led to the first half dismissal of defender Mickey Logue and the mysterious awarding of a last-gasp indirect free kick from which Sky Blues scored the winner.

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The Athletic supremo said that those “fundamental errors” had cost his side dearly on the day but insisted his players remained determined to land a first NI Intermediate title.

“To be truthful we were really gutted and despite playing with 10 men we deserved a point at least,” he said.

“It’s so frustrating. Players dedicate their time and effort to playing football, come to training, take time off work and so on and then a refereeing performance like the one against Magherafelt costs you the points.

“Who makes him acountable? If I don’t do my job, the chairman is on my case.

“Honestly I’m at the stage, following that injustice, of having every game videod.

“My hope for the semi final is that the match official is fair for both teams.”

On paper Athletic, who will be missing the suspended Logue and Gary Henderson, will go into tomorrow’s last-four showdown as slight favourites to set up a showpiece final decider against Craig Memorial Cup winners Maiden City.

Curry, who also has a number of injury concerns, acknowledged that league position would suggest his team should have the edge but insisted every game was different. Even more so when it’s a one-off cup-tie.

“Look at Liverpool against Swansea the other night,” he continued. “Liverpool beat City 4-3 but couldn’t find the net against the bottom team.

‘Every game is different. Players have to adapt, think on their feet and work it out during each game.

“After defeat you always want to get back at it as soon as possible. And, of course, we want to bounce back, not only only in terms of reaching the cup final but to return to winning ways.

“While we are looking no further than Saturday’s tie it would be good to play Maiden City in the final. I like the way they play football and it would make for a good decider.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 15 Main Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AS