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Glenavon 3 Carrick Rangers 2

Brian McCaul only left Linfield to demonstrate he is worth a contract at Windsor Park next season — and how the ice-cool kid is relishing proving that very point!

A match-winning hat-trick — his first in senior football — and six goals in just five matches since his loan move in the January transfer window have lifted struggling Glenavon off the bottom rung of the Carling Premiership ladder.

But while the Lurgan Blues revelled in having moved up two places, there was a dark mood in the visiting dressing room with Carrick boss Michael Hughes livid at refereeing decisions — including the dismissal of another Linfield loanee, Marcus Kane — he claimed cost his side three points.

Rangers were ahead 2-1 thanks to goals from Thomas Hyland and Stephen O’Neill when Kane, booked earlier for a foul on Jay Magee, downed Windsor team mate McCaul and, with the hosts levelling from the subsequent free-kick, Hughes was les than impressed.

“It wasn’t a free-kick and it wasn’t a second yellow,” he insisted.

“We were a man down and they scored from the free-kick to level at 2-2.

“I tried to speak with the referee after the game but he completely ignored me. I had a dressing room full of boys who didn’t understand the decisions and I couldn’t explain because the man wouldn’t speak to me. So much for communication.”

Rival player-boss Gary Hamilton missed out through injury but was happy that his team twice came from behind.

He said: “Our first half was shocking and embarrassing. I got into them and questioned whether they had the b*lls to come back and win games. I got the response I wanted.”

Belfast Telegraph