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Glentoran battle back as spirited Carrick put to sword

Carrick Rangers 1 Glentoran 2

By Kris Jack

Curtis Allen's close range finish, nine minutes from time, saw Gary Haveron's side to a 2-1 victory over his former club Carrick Rangers, as they stay in the race for seventh place.

However the defeat for Rangers, coupled with Portadown's automatic relegation, sends them to a nervy play-off battle with the best of the rest from the Championship.

An early header by Marcus Kane from an Eric Foley free kick for the visitors, comfortably saved by Brian Neeson, and a straightforward double-stop by Elliott Morris from Lee Chapman and Sean Noble, bookended as poor a first half of football as you're likely to see.

Carrick's first meaningful venture up the park in the second half led to the opening goal on 57 minutes. Chapman did well to swing a cross in from the right and TJ Murray ghosted in at the back post to loop a header over Morris.

The lead was short-lived though as two minutes later the promising Salou Jallow stood up a cross to Allen on the far side of the area and his header back across goal was forced in by Johnny Smyth.

Aaron Callaghan's side felt aggrieved when Glens' Stephen O'Flynn looked to have handled in the box. The referee booked the substitute, but awarded a free kick instead of a spot-kick.

Haveron's man took the lead on 81 minutes, Flynn's shot from the left deflecting to Allen in the six yard box, a one touch finish past Neeson doing the damage.

Carrick Rangers: Neeson, Smyth, McVey, McNally, McCullough (Elder 89), Rice, Quigley (McAllister 65), TJ Murray, Chapman, Kelly, Noble (Morrow 76). Subs: McConnell,Taggart

Glentoran: Morris, Hamill, Magee, Kane, Addis, Lavery (O'Flynn 64), Foley, McAlorum, Smith (Cafolla 84), Jallow, Allen (Sterling 90+1). Subs: Delaney, McLaren

Referee: Ross Dunlop

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