Belfast Telegraph

Spectacular Chines left in tears as late goal secures Carrick's top flight status

Carrick Rangers 2 - Ballinamallard 1

By David Mason

Goal hero Miguel Chines admitted he just couldn't stem the flood of tears after his injury time goal kept Carrick Rangers in the Danske Bank Premiership.

In a crazy finale at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena, Gary Haveron's side produced a last gasp rescue act which ultimately sent Warrenpoint Town crashing through the relegation trap door.

Ivan Spoule shot Ballinamallard United into a first half lead - an advantage they held until Mark Surgenor headed Rangers level on 89 minutes.

But when 36-year-old Chines arched his back to send a sensational scissors kick high into the net four minutes later, the east Antrim venue erupted.

The result sent Rangers zooming up to 10th place in the table and sunk United into a relegation play-off with Institute.

"I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time," said Chines. "It was a great ball in from Ben Roy and Aaron Traynor managed to flick it back to me.

"I just tried my luck with an overhead kick. I didn't even know it went in until I heard the roar of the crowd. I couldn't hold it in, I just started crying. I couldn't help myself. I knew what it meant to the club. I just couldn't stop.

"I've never scored a more important goal in my life. I couldn't believe it. For a long time we looked like we were being relegated. But this team just doesn't give up.

"We've conceded so many late goals to lose or draw games, it's ironic we scored in injury time to stay up.

"As long as the referee hadn't blown the whistle, we always had a chance. It's never over until it's over. It was total madness at the finish - madness."

Rangers boss Gary Haveron admitted he would have resigned had his team been relegated.

"Yes, 100% I would have gone," he said. "I came to the club to get them into the Premier League and we did that.

"After that, the target was to keep them in the Premier League and if we didn't do that, it would have been failure, regardless of everything that happened during the season."

As for Ballinamallard, they now face another nerve jangling two games against Institute to preserve their top flight status.

"Our emotions are everywhere, we are all shattered," said boss Whitey Anderson.

"We were practically relegated, but the next thing we heard it was 1-1 at Warrenpoint with two minutes left. I can tell you, it was the longest two minutes I have ever experienced.

"I sat in the dugout wondering what I was going to say to the players if we were relegated. I wasn't happy the way we capitulated over the last few minutes. It just wasn't good enough. People switched off. They didn't do their jobs.

"Let's just say, they know what they did wrong. I had a right go at them.

"I'm just glad we have another chance to stay in this league. Institute play in the Intermediate Cup final on Monday (today) against Ards. I'll go and have a good look at them."

CARRICK RANGERS: Neeson, Smyth, Traynor, Surgenor, Doyle (McCaul, 85 mins), Harmon, Salley, Cherry (Roy, 79 mins), Chines, Johnston (Kelly, 59 mins), McCloskey. Unused subs: Wright, Taggart.

BALLINAMALLARD UNITED: McCusker, Morris, Elliott, Friars, Lecky, McCabe, O'Flynn, McKenna (Dykes, 46 mins), Beacom (McCartney, 63 mins), Lafferty, Sproule (Campbell, 75 mins). Unsed subs: Mayse, Rouse.

Match Rating: 8/10

Man of match: Mark Surgenor

Referee: Mervyn Smyth (Belfast).


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