IRISH LEAGUE: Davy McAlinden is on right track with Carrick Rangers

Glentorans Ross Redman scores against Carrick Rangers.
Glentorans Ross Redman scores against Carrick Rangers.

Carrick Rangers may have escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, but they’ll not be in a similar position, come the end of April!

Having survived a season of turmoil - the club chopped and changed managers over the past 12 months which added to the mayhem - Rangers faced the prospect of going into a Danske Bank Premiership relegation play-off just as Dubliner Aaron Callaghan had jumped ship!

It was hardly an appealing opportunity for any prospective new boss.

So, take a bow Davy McAlinden! He has made a dramatic impact since walking through the doors of the Loughshore Hotel Arena.

The former Larne chief revamped the playing staff, bring in a staggering 16 new players.

Rangers were handed the toughest of starts to their league game - a trip to champions Linfield.

They then rolled out the welcome mat for Ballymena United before making the journey to the Oval on Saturday.

It was hardly surprising they left Windsor Park empty handed, but they gained their first point in their second outing before doubling their tally in East Belfast.

Make no mistake about it, more will follow!

Rangers will hold their own against most teams there is now question about that.

In fact, they were perhaps a little unlucky not to leave the Oval with all three points.

Gary Haveron’s team - unbeaten in their opening two matches - took the lead five minutes before the break with Ross Redman firing in low and hard into the bottom corner.

But Rangers required a mere 40 seconds after the restart to level.

New defender Mark Edgar whipped in a great cross from the left which was headed past Elliott Morris by the alert Lee Chapman.

Morris earlier produced a wonderful response to keep out a Paddy McNally header, while Denver Gage really should have done better with an effort from point blank range.And, it was McNally who had the one big chance to win it late on when he got up above the clenched fist of Morris only to direct his header wide.

Yes, they may have been written off before a ball was kick this season, but Rangers are a well drilled side that displayed a hunger and a passion that will keep them away from the drop zone. They are in safe hands under McAlinden.

GLENTORAN: Morris, Kane, Birney, Allen, McGuigan, McMullan (Knowles73), Davidson (Delaney 58), Kerr, McNicholl (McDaid 69), Redman, Ferrin. Unused substitutes: Sterling, Kelly.

CARRICK RANGERS: Doherty, McMullan (Smyth 49), McNally, Gage, Edgar, Surgenor, Taggart (Morrow 78), Clarke, Chapman, Roy (Maybin 66), A Mooney. Unused substitutes: D Mooney, Trussell.

REFEREE: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown).