GRAEME MURTY said his side showed grit and determination as they beat Northern Irish side Ballymena United 1-0.

Serge Atakayi’s 87th minute goal was the difference as the young Gers progressed to the fourth round of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup for the first time.

Murty said: “It was tough, it was a proper test, they pushed us the whole way and I think if I am honest I think we are slightly fortunate to go through, given the amount of chances they created by putting the ball into our box. I didn’t think we defended those particularly well, but the guys have got a clean sheet so we must be doing something right.

“I thought some of our play when we moved the ball properly was really good, I thought at times we were a bit slow particularly in the first half.

“We were a bit sloppy with the ball but the team showed they have got a bit of grit they have got a bit of determination and a bit of quality but we have got to be better and I have just said that to the players.

“I am pleased for them and I am proud of them getting through and I’m proud of them standing up to the test but they need to be better they need to be slicker and smoother and understand the game a little bit better.

“If they manage to marry that to the undoubted talent that they have then it will all be to the good but they need to manage their emotions better than we did.”

Serge Atakayi came on as substitute for the Gers with half an hour of the game remaining, before netting the winning goal.

Murty added: “Credit to Peter [Lovenkrands] actually, Peter thought you know what we need to get a little bit more pace in the team and Serge has got everything in terms of pace he is very very quick he is electric.

“Unfortunately for them it came from a little bit of an error but Serge got himself through there and took the goal really well.

“After starting really well in the second half I thought we lost control of it a little bit so I thought we had to make a change and he came on and had a good impact.

“He has had a hard time in terms of injury and him coming out of the team and trying to get back in the team and hopefully that will do his confidence the world of good.”

Murty said although he was proud of his players, he was not fully satisfied with the performance.

He explained: “I am proud, I think I have said every time I want the challenge to be ramped up and I think it was today I think you saw that.

“They have risen to it again albeit this is going to sound really harsh I am not quite satisfied I want them to be better.

“We would all like them to improve and take some of their learning forward. I think you seen bits and flashes they need to be more consistent and stay in that learning and stay in that development to show actually we can put a complete performance in because if they do that I think they will be a sight to behold.

“I think they can really scare a few people but there are too many things at the moment that are down to concentration that we can eliminate I think and if we manage to do that then that will bode well for them and actually that will say that our Academy programme is teaching them the right kind of things.”

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