Back to the bread and butter stuff as Rangers begin to tackle fixtures backlog

Carrick manager Gary Haveron. Photo:Presseye
Carrick manager Gary Haveron. Photo:Presseye

Carrick Rangers won’t be dwelling on the disappointment of their Irish Cup exit against Crusades for long because the weather is menacing as they face a horrendous programme of games at lower level.

With a massive 13 games in the league still to be played, Carrick will be praying the temperatures rise and the rain stays away.

Gary Haveron’s team bounced back from the Crues defeat with a 2-1 win over Knockbreda on Tuesday but the boss will be keeping close eye on the forecast over the coming weeks. Postponements are not what he or his players want or need.

“We need the weather to be kind to us if we are going to make inroads into the fixture backlog.

“This Saturday it’s the Intermediate Cup when we are scheduled to go to Dergview, whose match against Larne was off last weekend.

“It will be a tough assignment because about 85 per cent of their good results have come in home games and they are not a bad side.

“The Intermediate Cup is their only chance of silverware so they have extra motivation, while we have used it to give young players opportunities to shine - a policy we intending to continue to adopt, even though we are at the quarter-final stage now,” said Haveron, who felt his team had a chance of winning at Seaview.

“We got off to a good start and I was very happy overall with how we played, taking the lead and giving as good as we got against the top team in the country.

“We combatted their style very well. They play a very direct game and we coped admirably for a long time.

“I was disappointed to concede an equaliser that they didn’t have to work hard for.

“Then, five minutes later they were in front when Richard Clarke’s free-kick wasglanced home by a deft header from Dairmuid O’Carroll.

“We pressed on and made them work hard to keep us at bay, but then they got a late third goal through Clarke and the fourth only served to put a false perspective on the scoreline.

“We did ourselves justice, but we are out of the Irish Cup and now it’s onwards and upwards with two pieces of silverware still to play for.”