Boss McAree all smiles as Swifts seal one of best wins of season
Carrick Rangers 0-1 Dungannon Swifts
Dungannon Swifts continued their fine run of form with a narrow 1-0 victory over 10-man Carrick Rangers that manager Rodney McAree believes to be one of the finest of their season so far.
Sam O'Connor's 68th-minute own goal was all that separated the sides. However, McAree, without his top goalscorer Andy Mitchell for this one, was more than happy with the win which keeps them on the coat-tails of Glenavon, who look set to land 19-goal Mitchell in the summer.
"I think that was one of our best wins of the season," he said. "We know coming to Carrick the pitch is sticky, it's going to be heavy. It doesn't allow for pretty football. It's one of our best performances in that we came here, got three points and got the clean sheet, so I'm delighted."
With the pitch as it was, a defensive error always looked likeliest to produce a goal and it duly did on 68 minutes when Ally Teggart's free-kick was poked in by the unlucky O'Connor.
"Whatever way it comes, we'll take the win," said McAree. "It was a fantastic ball in from Ally, one of those ones where the defender doesn't know whether to twist or stick."
For Carrick, it was a cruel goal to lose and their misery was compounded when Aaron Smyth earned a second booking for a late lunge on Jarlath O'Rourke, the result leaving them mired in the relegation play-off spot.
Carrick manager Aaron Callaghan felt a draw would have been the correct result. He said: "I don't think we deserved to get beat, I don't think they deserved to win. I don't think any team deserved to win, any neutral watching would tell you that," he said.
"It had a draw written all over, there were no clear cut chances. I don't think either keeper had a real save to make. Nil-nil at half time was a fair score and I think it should have stayed that way.
"It's the rub of the green that goes against you when you're down the bottom of the league."