Belfast Telegraph

Cherry's sweet effort boosts Carrick's survival bid

Carrick Rangers 1-0 Dungannon Swifts

By Adrian Rutherford

Carrick Rangers moved off the bottom of the Danske Bank Premiership table after a scrappy win over Dungannon Swifts.

Kyle Cherry scored the only goal of the game midway through the second-half.

It was far from a classic, not that Carrick boss Gary Haveron will care. The win was the Co Antrim side's first in the league in six, lifting them above Warrenpoint and boosting their hopes of avoiding relegation.

But it was a disappointing night for Dungannon, who missed the chance to go seventh after a first defeat in five.

The winning goal came in the 66th minute. A slip by Dungannon full-back Andrew Burns let in Aaron Harmon, who burst down the left, beat a defender and pulled across the box.

Cherry had broken from midfield and arrived on cue to fire home from eight yards. It was a rare moment of quality in a forgettable 90 minutes.

Originally scheduled for November, this game had been postponed four times.

However, no-one could argue it was worth all that waiting.

In a dismal first-half, it took 30 minutes for either side to create a chance of note. The ball dropped for the Swifts' Cormac Burke outside the penalty area, with the goalkeeper scrambling back to tip over.

Moments later, Andrew Mitchell cut inside from the left and aimed a shot just wide.

Carrick's best effort of the half fell to Harmon, the game's standout player, but goalkeeper Stuart Addis got down well.

Miguel Chines had scored in the sides' previous two meetings, and went close at the start of the second-half. Harmon fired in a cross from the left but the forward was unable to get his head to the ball.

Carrick were almost gifted the opening goal in comical circumstances soon afterwards.

David Armstrong mistimed his attempt to intercept a long free-kick from Brian Neeson, with the defender's header clipping the top of the crossbar.

Slowly the game was coming to life, and Neeson made a good stop to deny Ryan Harpur.

Cherry's strike then provided the breakthrough, and in a game of few chances one goal was always going to be enough.

           

CARRICK: Neeson, Smyth, Traynor, Surgenor, Taggart, Harmon, Doyle, Cherry, Chines (McNeill 90), Roy (McCall 84), McCloskey.

Subs not used: Wright, Rice.

DUNGANNON: Addis, Burns, Armstrong, McCaffrey, O'Rourke, Lowe (Mullen 82), Harpur, Burke (Liggett 71), Hazley, Teggart (Fitzpatrick 88), Mitchell.

Subs not used: Montgmery, McDonald.

Match rating: 2/10

Man of the match: Harmon (pictured)

Referee: Steven Taylor (Belfast).

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