Carrick eased to an emphatic 4-0 win over nine-man Harland and Wolff Welders at Taylor’s Avenue.
Goals from debutant Ryan Arthur, Miguel Chines, Conor McCloskey and sub Adam Dick secured a comfortable three points for the home side.
They were helped in no small part when the Welders hit the self-destruct button with veteran striker Davy Rainey and defender Dan McMurray seeing red within six minutes of each other, early in the second half.
With just 68 seconds on the clock, Carrick made the perfect start when defender Arthur headed home Chines’ corner to net his first goal for the club with his first touch.
The Welders took a while to find their feet but, when they did, they created a string of chances.
Shortly before the half-hour mark, Philip Dickson ballooned Mark Magennis’s low, unorthodox free-kick over the bar before Rainey’s long-range effort forced Brian Neeson into making a fine fingter-tip save.
On 33 minutes Carrick again had Neeson to thank as he produced another notable stop - this time from Michael McLellan’s right-footed drive from inside the box.
With the interval looming, Neeson made his third big save of the half, getting down to smother Scott Davidson’s well-struck drive from the edge of the box.
The Welders were reduced to 10 players on 53 minutes when Rainey was sent for an early bath after a two-footed lunge on Arthur.
Six minutes later, Gary Smyth’s side were two men down when McMurray received his marching orders for dissent.
With numerical advantage, Carrick then stepped it up a gear with two goals in the space of a minute.
Chines weaved his way into the Welders’ box and found the bottom corner with the help of a deflection, before McCloskey’s arrow-like drive from 25 yards zipped past the helpless Dougherty for number three.
Substitute Adam Dick made it 4-0 when he thumped the ball home from just inside the 18-yard box. He had only been on the park for less than a minute.
Carrick Rangers: Neeson, Smyth (McKenna 79), Traynor, Donaghy, R. Arthur, Taggart (Martin 77), Harmon, Kane, Chines (Dick 77), Roy, McCloskey. Subs: Cherry, Watson.
HW Welders: Dougherty, Dickson (McMillan 74), Armstrong, Harris, McMurray, Simpson, Davidson, Deans, Magennis (Middleton 71), McLellan, Rainey. Subs not used: Spence, Devine, Armstrong, McMillan.
Referee: Steven Taylor (Belfast)