Belfast Telegraph

O'Brien double helps secure Carrick's place at top table

Carrick Rangers 4-1 Institute

By Colin Speer

Carrick Rangers maintained their Premiership status thanks to a hard fought win against 10-men Institute.

Striker Declan O'Brien scored twice in the final 20 minutes to ensure managerless Rangers stay up for another season.

The Londonderry men will be bitterly disappointed as they suffered their fourth loss at the play-off stage.

The home side made two changes from Tuesday night's first leg encounter with Chris Morrow and O'Brien coming into the starting line-up with Glen Taggart dropping to the bench and goalscorer Marty Murray missing out completely with a hamstring problem.

Stute boss Kevin Deery was forced into one change with youngster Aaron Jarvis replacing the injured Raymond Foy.

Mark Surgenor saw his 20 yard strike easily gathered by diving Stute keeper Marty Gallagher.

Then minutes later a Steven McCullough right wing corner found centre-back Daniel Kelly, but his header was straight at Gallagher.

Rangers raced into the lead on 11 minutes in sublime fashion as Kyle McVey scored his first goal of the season.

The ex-Coleraine man saw his left footed strike from the edge of the box fly into the top corner.

To their credit the visitors levelled within a minute as Gareth Brown's clever ball released Michael McCrudden and the winger's first time centre from the left was turned home at the near post by Sammy Morrow.

Rangers regained the lead on 26 minutes after somewhat fortunate circumstances as McCullough's 20 yard free-kick took a deflection off McCrudden on its way past a flat-footed Gallagher.

The visitors were inches away from equalising for a second time, but Niall Grace's long range strike was tipped over by Brian Neeson.

A fantastic in-swinging free-kick by Sean Roddy found Grace, but the midfielder headed over from close range.

Just after the hour mark the woodwork came to Stute's rescue when McCullough's 35 yard drive, which had Gallagher beaten, clipped the top of the bar.

Rangers scored a crucial third goal on 71 minutes as O'Brien nipped down the left before cutting inside onto his favoured right foot to fire low into Gallagher's bottom left hand corner.

Institute's miserable day was compounded on 80 minutes when they were reduced to 10 men after Mark Scoltock picked up a second caution when he brought down sub TJ Murray inside the box and O'Brien chipped the resulting penalty down the middle and into the net.

Carrick Rangers: Neeson, Smyth, McCullough, Surgenor, McNally, McVey, Chapman, Kelly, O'Brien, Morrow (Murray HT), McAllister (Noble 57)

Institute: Gallagher, Roddy (Curran 74), O'Donnell, Scoltock, D Curry; McIntyre (McDermott 81), Grace, A Jarvis (Harkin 74), Brown; McCrudden, Morrow

Referee: Steven Taylor

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