Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Carrick Rangers 4 Glenavon 4

Carrick Rangers kept their hopes of top flight survival alive with one of the most sensational comebacks the Carling Premiership has ever seen.

With 11 minutes to go Carrick were 4-1 down to Glenavon and looking certainties for the drop, but Michael Hughes' men secured a stunning 4-4 draw and reduced their deficit at the bottom of the table to three points.

Despite the fightback Hughes believed his side should have taken all three points.

Hughes said: “I don't think we got what we deserved, as we were by far the better team. We found ourselves three goals behind after the first 10 minutes of the second half, after dominating the first half. We then went on to dominate the final 35 minutes.

“We gave away four sloppy goals and gave ourselves a mountain to climb.”

The tedious, goalless first half gave no clues as to what lay ahead in the second, which was 45 minutes of breathless action.

Glenavon got the ball rolling two minutes into the second half when Matty Burrows flicked a long ball into the path of Gary Hamilton who finished from 12 yards. Mark Miskimmin then grabbed two quick-fire goals in the 49th and 54th minutes to give Glenavon what looked like an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Referee Ross Dunlop gave Carrick two controversial penalties both for infringements by Kyle Neill. Andy Coleman saved Shane Dolan's 66th minute effort, but he couldn't stop Anto Lagan's 79th minute spot-kick.

It looked as if Brian McCaul had sealed the game in the 82nd minute for the visitors when he applied the final touch to Jay Magee's knock down but brave Rangers refused to roll-over.

A Marcus Kane goal got Carrick back into the game five minutes from time, before Thomas Hyland headed in 90th minute corner.

The sensational equaliser arrived in the 94th minute when Paul Heatley to hooked the ball over his shoulder from close range to give Carrick a vital point.

Carrick Rangers: Murphy, Murray, Byrne (Owens 44), Lagan, West, Heatley, Taggart (Harmon 54), Hutchinson, Hyland, Kane, Dolan. Subs: Deans, Brennan, McDowell.

Glenavon: Coleman, Shannon, Johnny Magee, Convery, Neill, Doherty, Jay Magee, McCaul, McAllister (Burrows 25), Miskimmin (Grant 79), Hamilton (Hagan 90). Subs: O'Hare, Cherry.

Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus).

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