Belfast Telegraph

Carrick on the slide as Town climb off bottom

Carrick Rangers 0-1 Warrenpoint Town

By Kris Jack

Conor McDonald's second-half header was enough to see Warrenpoint Town leapfrog 10-man Carrick Rangers and rise from the bottom of the Danske Bank Premiership table.

The battle of the bottom two took place under the Seaview floodlights due to Carrick's drainage problems at Taylors Avenue, but it was Town who got the vital three points with a feisty 1-0 win on the synthetic surface.

The precarious position of both sides was evident at the start as neither seemed capable of keeping possession, Martin Murray and Miguel Chines passing up chances.

The half's best effort came when Johnny McMurray sent Stephen Murray through on the Carrick goal. With only the keeper to beat, the big forward was stopped by Brian Neeson's big toe, with the follow up deflected.

Four minutes after the break, Warrenpoint took the lead when Martin Murray's shot-cum-cross over the head of Neeson came back off the bar and McDonald stooped to head in.

It was a poor goal for Carrick to concede and it went from bad to worse when Glenn Taggart received a straight red card for a reckless lunge on Martin Murray.

The sending off heightened tensions and Dermot McVeigh was next in the book for a strong challenge on Gary Johnston, which incensed the 'home' team further. From the resulting free-kick, Chines stung the palms of Johnny Parr from all of 35 yards.

Ben Roy should have levelled in the 70th minute with his side's best chance of the game, McCloskey teeing him up on the penalty spot, but his shot whistled wide.

In the 84th minute, sub Stephen Hughes could have sealed it but he fired tamely at Neeson. The exclamation point wasn't needed though, as Town took the win and moved off the bottom.

Carrick Rangers: Neeson, Smyth, Taggart, Doyle Traynor, Surgenor, Johnson (Kelly 83), Harmon, Chines, Roy (Salley, 76), McCloskey. Subs: McNeill, McCaul, Rice

Warrenpoint TOwn: Parr, M Hughes, Clarke (McGuigan 65), McVeigh, Bagnall, Dane, M Murray, Doyle, McMurray (S Hughes 71), S Murray. Subs: Murphy, Donnelly, Mulvenna

Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge)

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