'Gamble' pays off as Kelly hits two for Carrick's first home win
Carrick Rangers 2 Coleraine 0
Daniel Kelly struck twice to give Carrick Rangers their first home league victory of the season on Saturday, in a gamble that boss Aaron Callaghan hoped would pay off for the Taylors Avenue side.
Mainly deployed in defence, Kelly was trusted to lead Rangers frontline in their 2-0 win over high-flying Coleraine alongside Chris Morrow, with his brace proving the difference between the sides helping his club leapfrog Ballinamallard into 10th spot.
"It was a little bit of a gamble. I spoke to Daniel earlier on and he told me he was a striker, but I didn't believe him at times," said Callaghan afterwards. "I said I would have to see him there first and he came in against Dungannon and did very well, albeit not match fit.
"He's had another couple of weeks under his belt now with the training and I thought he was absolutely brilliant and I thought he was ably supported by Chris Morrow."
While Morrow put in a workmanlike shift, covering every blade of grass in the Coleraine half, it was Kelly who did the damage either side of half time.
He lost his marker at the back post to head home a superb Steven McCullough delivery on 35 minutes to give Carrick the lead with the only moment of real quality in the first half.
And after a long ball found him on his toes seven minutes in to the second half, Kelly showed strength and composure to fend off Gareth McConaghie to stroke under Chris Johns to make it 2-0.
Carrick: Neeson, Chapman, Surgenor, McNally, McCullough, Rice, Wilson, TJ Murray, Morrow (Hanley, 73 mins), Kelly, McNicholl. Unused subs: Taggart, Lavery, McCaul, Knox.
Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Douglas, McCauley, Brown, Kee (McCafferty, 70 mins) McConaghie (Ogilby, 57 mins) , Lyons, Parkhill (McLaughlin, 57 mins), McGonigle, Allan. Unused subs: Mullan, Higgins.
Referee: Shane Andrews (Comber)
Man of the match: Daniel Kelly
Match rating: 7/10