Armadale coach John O’Reilly said the early red card to Beau Rahim was the defining moment of his side’s 4-0 FFA Cup defeat to Cairns FC on Wednesday night.
Referee Jarred Gilliett dismissed the Armadale defender just 19 minutes into the Round of 32 tie for a trip on Josh Taylor. The Queensland official adjudged the foul to have denied Taylor a clear goalscoring opportunity, something O’Reilly strongly contested.
“The red card killed us,” O’Reilly added.
Armadale kept the match scoreless until the 53rd minute but once Jamie Carroll broke the deadlock there was no way back for the Belt Up Cup winners.
“We did well in the circumstances to hold on,” O’Reilly said. “But at half-time they had a chance to reassess how to break us down. They got the goal relatively early in the half and that made it hard.
“We saw this as a golden opportunity to progress at least one step further.
“The hard part to stomach is we had a game plan and the red card stopped us from seeing if it would have worked.
“But it is what it is. There was a feeling of huge disappointment but we all came together in the centre of the park at the end. I was proud of the boys before the game and I was proud of the boys after the game.”
Armadale return to NPL WA action on Saturday at home to Floreat Athena. O’Reilly said his side are determined to finish the season strongly.
“Definitely. We want to get back to winning ways,” he said.
DREAM OVER FOR ARMADALE
CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE GOAL HIGHLIGHTS