Furious Dumbarton boss Jim Duffy hit out at his team’s “unfair” schedule as they were dumped out the Scottish Cup following four games in eight days.
The League One part-timers finally ran out of gas seven minutes from time as Callum Hendry’s late winner edged Aberdeen into the last 16 with a 1-0 win.
It was only the Dons’ second goal in their last 11 games but Dumbarton can be proud of their display as they forced the Premiership outfit to scrap all the way.
However, Duffy could not hide his anger after seeing his team forced into a hectic run of games following the emergence of Scotland’s lower leagues from lockdown.
He said: “It’s not fair. It wouldn’t be fair on any club to play four games in eight days.
“Would you ask that of top clubs? I absolutely doubt it.
“Today, you wouldn’t have known it was our fourth game in eight days with what the players gave.
“I think sometimes we are a bit disrespectful to part-time players because they have to go to their work, keep themselves fit, and play a succession of games. I’ve got nothing but praise for my players.”
On-loan St Johnstone striker Hendry was the last man to net for the Dons with his winner against Kilmarnock back on February 20.
And it took his composed low finish to squeeze Aberdeen past the stuffy Sons after a string of golden opportunities had been passed up.
New boss Steven Glass touched down in Scotland on Friday night but with the former Atlanta coach required to quarantine for 10 days upon his arrival from America, it was left to caretaker Paul Sheerin to lead the team out under Dumbarton Rock.
And he thinks the new boss will be pleased with what he has to work with despite another afternoon where the Reds laboured in front of goal.
Asked if there was enough on show to impress Glass, Sheerin said: “I’d say so. They are a brilliant group of players. They have just struggled a little bit in that final third in recent weeks.
“We’ve got through this one, we’ve managed to get a goal so I’m sure he’ll be happy with the squad he’s inheriting.
“Stephen arrived last night and he’s now got a 10-day period of quarantine. The likelihood is he will miss St Johnstone then be in looking to hit the ground running.
“We spoke about staying patient before this game but obviously with the position we’re in and the lack of goals in recent weeks and the longer that goes on the more desperate you become.
“But we stressed before the game that we do need to stay more patient.
“I thought second half we became more desperate than needed to be, throwing things in and allowing them to defend their box, which credit to them they did brilliantly.
“Dumbarton made things difficult for us but when you look at the number of chances we had, it was inevitable it was going to come at some stage.”