Carrick over the moon as Andy sends the Mallards packing
Carrick R'gers 2 Ballinamallard 0
Gangling striker Andrew Mooney last night hit a glorious double to send Carrick Rangers into dreamland. His goals were worth the admission money alone as David McAlinden's boys turned in another 90 minutes of passion and commitment which helped them pick up three valuable Danske Bank Premiership points at the Loughshore Hotel Arena.
The win hoisted Rangers into the top six in the league table. And, on the evidence of this showing, they will be a match for most teams in the league.
"We've been written off even before a ball was kicked, so we are out to prove people wrong," beamed a delighted McAlinden (below).
"It's our first win of the season, but hopefully there will be more to come."
Rangers roared from the blocks and were unlucky not to be in front on nine minutes. The industrious Lee Chapman picked out the over-lapping Aaron Smyth, whose low drive was clawed away from the bottom corner by Richard Brush.
It was all Carrick early on in the thumping rain.
After soaking up all the early pressure, the visitors at last asked questions at the other end. Defender Ryan McConnell sent over a long cross from the right that was cleverly kept alive by Jay McCartney, but lanky defender Paddy McNally produced a wonderfully timed tackle to block a Josh McIlwaine goal-bound shot.
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Normal service soon resumed at the other end with the excellent Martin Maybin bursting through on the right before stinging the hands of Brush with a drive.
It was no surprise when Rangers forged into the lead seven minutes from the break, but it's a goal that will give new signing from Glenavon, Aaron Canning, nightmares.
His wayward pass was gobbled up by Mooney and, having spotted Brush off his line, he looped home a stunning effort from all of 25 yards.
Rangers almost did it again two minutes later when Chapman's cross found Ben Roy at the back post, but his audacious volley was somehow pushed against the post by the over-worked Brush.
Then, seconds before the whistle, Mark Surgenor held his head in frustration after having a goal wiped out because of an offside infringement.
Mooney struck again on 66 minutes - and what a strike it was.
He picked the ball up just inside his own half and left McConnell in his wake before expertly lifting the ball over Brush.
United went looking to salvage the situation and forced goalkeeper Harry Doherty into his first stop of the game when he got down to save from Shane McGinty.
On 92 minutes Denver Gage sent McGinty flying, but Doherty pulled off an outstanding save to keep out Ryan Curran's penalty.
CARRICK: Doherty, Smyth, Edgar, Gage, McNally, Chapman, Surgenor, Taggart, Roy (Smith, 80 mins), Maybin (Morrow, 80 mins), Mooney (Trussell, 87 mins). Unused subs: McMullan, McAllister.
BALLINAMALLARD: Brush, McConnell, Clarke, McGinty, Hutchinson, Martyn (Curran, 60 mins), McCartney, Leddy (McLaughlin, 60 mins), McIlwaine (Brennan, 70 mins), Smyth, Canning. Unused subs: Burns, Crawford.
Man of the match: Andrew Mooney
Match rating: 7/10
Referee: Jamie Robinson (Banbridge)