PRESTON Athletic manager Jack Lynch felt his side missed a “great opportunity” as they were beaten 2-0 by Linlithgow Rose in the second preliminary round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday.

A brace of goals from Linlithgow star Tommy Coyne proved the difference and Lynch admitted his side gave the ex-junior giants “too much respect”.

He told Courier Sport: “After the game I was pretty disappointed because I felt that it was a missed opportunity for us.

“We had a great chance at 0-0 and David Liddle put the ball over the bar from close range. They took the goal kick and went up the field and scored, and that changed the game.”

The Panners boss also said the referee should have sent off a Linlithgow player for a “really bad” challenge on Jonny Grotlin, saying: “He came diving in with both [sets of] studs showing – it was a clear red card. The ref played advantage, but we lost the ball and they went and scored straight from it.

“At 2-0 down just before half-time that really changed the game.”

Lynch revealed he spoke to referee Kyle Hall at the break about the tackle, adding: “I just asked him why he hadn’t even brought it back for the free-kick. He said we’d had advantage – we didn’t. It felt like the big team got the decision.”

Despite disappointment, Lynch felt there were “plenty of positives” to take from the game. He said: “Normally when you play the likes of Linlithgow you expect your keeper to be the busiest player on the park.

“I don’t think our keeper had a save to make apart from the two goals, and we created a few decent chances – Jack Jardine had a good one at 0-0 as well.”

Lynch was hoping to blood some of the club’s U20s in a friendly with Dunbar United on Tuesday evening, but has already turned his attentions to Saturday’s county derby with Ormiston.

He said: “I know that they’ve struggled recently but it’s a good game for us after a disappointing defeat.

“There’s a challenge that the players will have seen Ormiston’s results and might think they’ll be weak, but they’ll be well organised and they never give up, so it’ll be a tough game.”