NEW DERRY CITY manager Kenny Shiels saw his team get off to a losing start to his tenure with their defeat at the hands of Finn Harps.
Shiels’ team were the better of the two in the first half but passed up on a handful of chances, including two in the same passage of play when Ryan McBride saw Ciaran Coll clear off the line and then Jordan Allan headed over from close range.
Minutes later, Harps hit the front through Dave Scully and that gave Ollie Horgan’s hosts something to hold onto as they eventually triumphed 2-1 on a heavy pitch.
“Finn Harps mastered the conditions better than us,” Sheils said afterwards. “It was very very difficult to play football on. When you’re used to having a build up play and you can’t put it into practice.
“Finn Harps worked very hard to shut down our space and they deserve great credit for that. We just have to get back to work again, that’s the industry that we work in.”
The former Kilmarnock manager insisted that he had to take a horses for courses approach due to the conditions.
“There are players I couldn’t put on that pitch tonight, footballers who we felt it wasn’t for. That’s not excuses it’s just fact. We don’t look to make excuses we try and establish reasons why we didn’t perform to the level we are capable of.
“I feel the best team won and I have no complaints about the result. It was tailor made for Finn Harps tonight, a derby game in their own ground with the momentum of just coming up and I knew all these variables were in there.
“I feel sorry for the supporters because we weren’t able to play in those restricting circumstances.”