Garry Breen's last-gasp winner a huge lift for Portadown as Carrick hit rock bottom
Carrick Rangers 1-2 Portadown
Portadown's Garry Breen scored a vital last-minute winner to leave Carrick Rangers in dire straits at the bottom of the Danske Bank Premiership.
The win leaves the Ports in ninth place while Carrick are in serious trouble with just two games remaining.
The first real chance fell to the home side after 18 minutes when Miguel Chines latched on to a ball over the top but Breen did well to recover, denying Carrick's top scorer a clear shot on target.
Chines rolled the ball across goal between visiting keeper David Miskelly and his defenders, but striker Adam Salley just couldn't get a foot to it.
The remainder of the half was poor from both sides as Carrick relied on long balls and the Ports struggled for fluency. Then, just before half-time, Michael Gault brought down Conor McCloskey outside the box as the winger raced through. Chines floated in the free-kick and McCloskey managed to get his head to it but the ball hit the side netting.
Both sides started the second-half with greater urgency and the game came to life in the 56th minute when Gault was bundled over in the box. Chris Casement made no mistake with a well-struck penalty.
Four minutes later, Carrick were level. Chines found Salley on the left wing and he crossed for Mark Surgenor to head past Miskelly. Suddenly Carrick's tails were up and they almost took the lead in the 64th minute when Chines' free-kick hit the upright.
Then, with just a minute to go, Breen blasted the winner to give his side some breathing space in the fight against relegation.
CARRICK RANGERS: Neeson, Smyth, Doyle, Wallace (Roy 73), Surgenor, Johnston (Cherry 62), Traynor, Taggart, McCloskey, Chines, Salley. Unused subs: Kelly, McNeill, McCaul.
PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Casement, Oman, Breen, Redman, Mouncey, Gault, Ramsey (Twigg 66), Parker, Mackle, Ferris McCallister (77). Unused subs: Garrett, Richardson, Marron.
Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus).