Carrick ‘disappointed’ by NIFL decision to switch match to Solitude

Carrick Rangers are set to take on Ballinamallard United on Saturday. Photo: Presseye
Carrick Rangers are set to take on Ballinamallard United on Saturday. Photo: Presseye

Carrick Rangers’ crunch Danske Bank Premiership relegation battle with Ballinamallard United, set to take place this Saturday (3pm), has been switched to Solitude.

The match was set to be played at Taylor’s Avenue but on Wednesday morning the Northern Ireland Football League revealed it will be staged at the home of Cliftonville.

The club issued a statement on its website, expressing its disappointment at the decision: “Carrick Rangers FC are extremely disappointed with last night’s announcement from NIFL regarding the scheduling of our Danske Bank Premiership fixture against Ballinamallard United on Saturday.

“The club was informed that the match has been moved to Solitude after a NIFL delegation inspected the pitch yesterday afternoon (Tuesday).

“We are extremely disappointed that the decision to move the fixture to Solitude was enforced four days before the match is due to take place. It was acknowledged that the pitch was playable when inspected, which makes the announcement particularly disappointing.”

Carrick, who are second-bottom of the top-flight, have played just twice on their own patch since the end of October becuase of problems with the playing surface at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena.

Gary Haveron’s team have been playing ‘home’ games at Seaview but this weekend Crusaders are scheduled to host Ballymena United.

The Times asked NIFL for a comment on the decision but no response had been received at the time of publication.