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Kyle Cherry sent challenge by Carrick Rangers boss after ‘out of this world’ Irish Cup heroics against Ballyclare Comrades

Ballyclare Comrades 0 Carrick Rangers 2

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Kyle Cherry celebrates finding the net with an eye-catching finish from distance

Kyle Cherry celebrates finding the net with an eye-catching finish from distance

Kyle Cherry celebrates finding the net with an eye-catching finish from distance

A pair of exquisitely-taken first-half goals from Jordan Gibson and Kyle Cherry gave Carrick Rangers a 2-0 victory over Ballyclare Comrades.

Roving midfielder Cherry provided a delightful assist for Gibson on the half-hour — dinking the ball over the heads of the static Comrades defence for the forward to lash home from an angle — before smashing a 25-yard volley in off the junction of bar and post in the 38th minute, sealing the victory.

Boss Stuart King was more than pleased that Cherry showed up for him at Dixon Park.

“Kyle’s game has really improved over the last month or so,” he said.

“He’s starting to dictate games a wee bit more. His first ball was unbelievable and his goal — it was out of this world, let’s be honest about it.

“But I expect that out of Kyle every single week and he’s got to keep doing it. He knows he’s got competition in the middle of the park and if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he knows he’ll be a big player for me.”

Those goals gave Carrick a deserved cushion at the break, with only a point-blank Michael Smith effort in the first five for Ballyclare giving the visitors cause for concern.

“I was expecting a real tough game,” added King.

“It’s a tough place to come, the pitch isn’t in good nick and from my report last week, I thought it would be a tough game and thankfully we were really good. Our goalkeeper made a save in the first five minutes. After that, we were dominant.

“We were strong all over the pitch and created numerous opportunities. We were 2-0 up at half-time, could have had three or four in the second half, but we just didn’t put it in the back of the net.”

Efforts from Lloyd Anderson, Ben Tilney and Kurtis Forsythe could and should have given Carrick a bigger scoreline — a fact not lost on Comrades manager Paul Harbinson.

“There’s not a lot we can take from today’s game that’s positive,” he admitted. “I don’t think we really competed today.

“Carrick had one clear game plan and we allowed them to play it.

“I felt that we switched off. The second goal is a fantastic strike, but we’ve given him 30 yards of space to hit the ball.

“We lacked concentration at times and we lacked the drive and anticipation. I thought Carrick would come here as a Premiership team and play very well but I felt they just did the job.

“They didn’t outplay us or play in triangles or in thirds, they simply worked harder than we did.”

BALLYCLARE: Purcell 5, Fletcher 6, McCart 6, Ramsey 6, Woods 7, Gray 7, Hassin 7, Johnston 6(Devine, 62 mins, 5),Mathieson 7 (Heggarty, 62 mins, 5) , Smith 7, Dobbin 6 (Herron, 81 mins, 4). Unused subs: Ferguson, McCune, McGrath, Irwin.

Carrick: Shields 6, Forsythe 7 (Hoy, 88 mins, 4), Ervin 6, Gordon 6, Tilney 8, E Kelly (Kalla, 83 mins, 4), Gawne 7, (Glendinning, 58 mins, 6)D Kelly 7, Cherry 8, (McGimpsey, 88 mins, 4), Gibson 7, Anderson 8 (Quinn, 83 mins, 4). Unused subs: Shannon, Buchanan-Rolleston.

Referee: Andrew Davey (Bangor) 7


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