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Learning is king for Carrick Rangers manager Stuart after draw against Glenavon felt like a defeat

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Flat feeling: Stuart King saw Carrick Rangers let a two-goal lead slip. Credit: INPHO/Philip Magowan

Flat feeling: Stuart King saw Carrick Rangers let a two-goal lead slip. Credit: INPHO/Philip Magowan

©INPHO/Philip Magowan

Flat feeling: Stuart King saw Carrick Rangers let a two-goal lead slip. Credit: INPHO/Philip Magowan

In the Carrick Rangers dressing room, immediately after they had conceded two goals in stoppage time to dash hopes of a first home win since the beginning of October, manager Stuart King recalled a similar situation from his playing days.

I was playing for Linfield and in the 94th minute, someone tried to beat his man and Omagh Town ran up the other end and scored,” he recounted.

“There was virtually a riot in the changing room and that has stuck with me ever since. Some of the boys had to be told that.”

There were no fights at the Loughview Leisure Arena on Saturday, but King admitted that, while Carrick had another point on the board, it felt like a defeat.

“We gave away a needless free kick, then a defender loses his man and it has cost us two points,” he added. “They will learn quickly. Two-nil up after 90 minutes, you shouldn’t let go.”

Matthew Fitzpatrick headed the dramatic 94th minute equaliser, just 70 seconds after Matthew Snoddy had given the Lurgan Blues a lifeline as they played catch-up after goals in the 33rd minute of each half from Ben Tilney, his first for Carrick, and Jordan Gibson.

While King said even opposite number Gary Hamilton would admit Glenavon “got out of jail”, both teams gave up golden chances when it seemed easier to score, with Gibson and Kurtis Forsythe the Carrick culprits.

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“On the whole we dominated the ball, but the three chances we conceded were suicidal, really disappointing goals,” said Hamilton.

“Matthew Fitzpatrick should have scored at the back post and then Josh Doyle, with virtually his first touch, should have hit the target, an easy chance and he doesn’t take it, but we showed resolve, hung in and scored two good goals.”

Carrick Rangers: Shields, Glendinning, Ervin, Gordon, Tilney; Forsythe, D Kelly (E Kelly, 46 mins) Cherry (Kalla, 84 mins), Anderson (Surgenor, 72 mins), Cushley (Chambers, 68 mins), Gibson. Unused subs: Skeet, Hoy, Quinn.

Glenavon: Taylor, Haughey, A Doyle (O’Mahony, 80 mins), Wallace, Singleton, Hall (Scannell, 58 mins), Snoddy, O’Connor, McCloskey, Fitzpatrick, Waterworth (J Doyle, 69 mins). Unused subs: Stafford, Birney, Hunter, Ward.

Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus).

Man of the match: Michael O’Connor.

Match rating: 7/10


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