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It's not celebration time yet as Newry await Carrick Rangers, warns McAlinden

Warrenpoint Town 2-3 Carrick Rangers

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David McAlinden

David McAlinden

David McAlinden

When Carrick Rangers manager David McAlinden spoke to the media following his side's win at Warrenpoint Town, the first thing he did before uttering a word was to lean over the fence surrounding the pitch and breathe a huge sigh of relief then let out a chuckle.

That was because his men looked to have avoided automatic relegation from the top flight with relative ease after finding themselves 3-0 up at the Q Radio Arena after just over half an hour courtesy of goals from Eamon McAllister, Darren Henderson and Michael Smith.

However, Alan O'Sullivan pulled one back for the hosts before Danny Wallace netted late on to leave the Gers one goal away from being relegated.

But the men in amber held on and now face Championship revelations Newry City AFC in a two-legged play-off.

"There was no celebrating from the players coming off," said McAlinden. "It was a case of relief almost, that we've got that first hurdle done. But we've been very aware of the next two games and that's been a focus.

"Even this week, it would have been remiss of us not to try and have a preparation and a thought process [for the play-off]. We got our scouts to go and watch Newry today and have the video ready to go.

"We've got all that. We've given ourselves a chance now of staying in the league and that's been the goal.

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"It hasn't been pretty, it hasn't been great to be honest. But we are where we are and we have two games to stay in the league and that's all that matters."


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