CARRICK RANGERS: We weren’t at the races against Coleraine, admits McNeill

Carrick's Joe McNeill (left) and Daniel Kelly keep a close eye on Coleraine winger Brad Lyons. INLT 42-909-CON Photo: Presseye
Carrick's Joe McNeill (left) and Daniel Kelly keep a close eye on Coleraine winger Brad Lyons. INLT 42-909-CON Photo: Presseye
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Carrick’s Joe McNeill admitted he and his team-mates ‘weren’t at the races’ in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Coleraine, writes John Gillespie.

The industrious midfielder, who arrived at Taylor’s Avenue in the summer after being released by the Bannsiders, bemoaned a lacklustre display against his old side. He also said it’s imperative Rangers bounce back in the double-header with Glentoran which begins with the League Cup clash at The Oval on Wednesday evening.

“We’ve had a couple of more heartbreaking defeats than today but we weren’t at ourselves. We need to pick it up. We know the players in the changing room are good enough, we know the management team is good enough, so it’s just up to us to make sure we get better and move on,” said McNeill.

A Brad Lyons header inside 35 seconds gave Oran Kearney’s men the perfect start, but a Ben Roy rocket brought the hosts level. James McLaughlin netted the winner with his sixth goal of the campaign just before the hour.

The visitors had captain Howard Beverland sent off in the closing stages and there were some nervy moments for the Bannsiders as referee Steven Gregg twice waved away appeals for hand ball in their box.

But the result means Gary Haveron’s Gers are still searching for their first home league win.

“We just weren’t good enough,” added McNeill. “A couple of decisions didn’t go our way. We could have had a penalty in the first half and at the end but, myself included, we weren’t at the races today.

“We’ve had a good old yarn about our performance after the match and hopefully we’ll bounce back against Glentoran. We played the Glens at home at the start of the season. They were maybe better than us in first-half but in the second half we matched them all over the place. I think we’ll do alright at The Oval.”