Currie draws comfort as Carrick display grit in Larne draw
Larne 0 Carrick Rangers 0
Carrick Rangers boss Niall Currie had no complaints about taking a point after what was less than a Christmas cracker.
Rangers were by far the happier side to leave Inver Park with a draw in a game which had few chances for either side.
It was Rangers' first point in three outings and Currie was more than pleased to get back on track.
"I'm sure it wasn't pleasing on the eye, but we didn't set up that way," Currie said.
"To a man we were excellent, when you come to a place like Larne it's up to them to break us down and the onus is on them.
"We had a couple of really good chances and we limited them over the course of the 90 minutes to very little, and that is down to the players.
"There are too many games this season where we have deserved a point and got nothing, so to get our point at Larne, we have to be happy with that."
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In a first half which didn't ever quite take off, it was Carrick who were first to threaten.
Conor Devlin was down to hold Guillaume Keke's effort after 12 minutes. Four minutes later, Devlin produced a much more impressive save as he got down to his right to tip Lloyd Anderson's shot around the post, which looked goalbound.
Both sets of fans honoured former player Jerry Thompson with a standing ovation and round of applause in the 21st minute.
It was Carrick who continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock, albeit with half chances.
The final one before the break arrived when it was Lloyd Anderson who threatened 36 minutes gone.
He played a one-two on the edge of the box, but could only drag his effort wide of Devlin's right hand post.
The home side were livelier at the start of the second half and should have been ahead with less a minute gone of the new half.
Ben Tilney's wicked cross from the left flank was met by Marty Donnelly at the back post but, with the goal at his mercy, he headed down into the ground and over the bar.
Despite the fast start, Larne failed to put Niall Currie's side under any sustained pressure and they had to wait until the 76th minute for their next chance, as Davy McDaid twisted and turned inside the box, but his shot was eventually blocked by Hogg.
Hogg kept the game scoreless on 83 minutes when he got down to his left to turn Mark Randall's shot round the post.
Despite both sides looking to win it later on, they were no other clearcut chances as it fizzled out to a scoreless draw.
LARNE: Devlin, Flowers, Kelly, Watson, McEleney, Randall, McDaid, Donnelly, Tilney (McMurray, 62 mins), Lynch, Hughes.
Unused subs: Mitchell, Ramsey, Sule, McKendry, Graham, Gilmour.
CARRICK RANGERS: Hogg, Neale, Surgenor, Rodgers, Loughran, Chapman, Kelly, Smith, Cherry, Keke (McGreevy, 70 mins), Anderson (Faulkner, 68 mins).
Unused subs: McAuley, Carson, Hassin, Doyle, Kalla.
Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)