Stranraer boss Stevie Farrell won't criticise Ruari Paton over Dumbarton play-off penalty miss
Stranraer boss Stevie Farrell says he won’t criticise Ruari Paton over his crucial penalty miss in his side’s play-off loss to Dumbarton.
With the Blues trailing 1-0 in Tuesday’s semi-final second leg at Dumbarton – following a goalless first encounter at Stair Park last Saturday – the visitors were handed the perfect chance to level when Thomas Orr was fouled inside the box.
But Paton’s strike came back off a post and a first half Jamie Wilson was enough to send Dumbarton through to a play-off final with Edinburgh City and end Stranraer’s season.
However Farrell refused to blame Paton for failing to score – and insisted that despite ultimately missing out on promotion back up to League 1 his players still deserve great credit for their efforts over the campaign.
He said: “I'm never going to criticise anyone for missing a penalty. He's had the bravery to go up and hit it.
"They're the fine lines because I think if that goes in, with the momentum it's a different game.
"The players have done well this year. They got themselves into the top four after being challenged and told at one point we wouldn't even get top five. They got to the last 16 of the Scottish Cup and missed a penalty in a shootout with Ayr United to get to the last 16 of the League Cup. It's not been a bad season.
"The players deserve a bit of credit because over the piece they've been excellent, they've been competitive and they've given the club some good moments this year.
"We'll dust ourselves down, we won't feel sorry for ourselves, we'll go and have a good summer and we'll start preparing for next year."
Farrell admitted his side paid the price for a poor first-half display at the C&G Systems Stadium.
He said: “We just didn't turn up.
"We didn't get going, we didn't play with any bravery with or without the ball. We weren't playing with any intensity and I thought we were lucky just to be 1-0 down at half-time.
"But to be fair to them they took their medicine at half-time and I thought in the second half we were excellent, I really did.
"We were on the front foot, in their face and played with a real intensity and composure on the ball and I really do think if the penalty goes in it's a different game.”