It was real Roy of the Rovers stuff at Taylor’s Avenue on Tuesday night as Carrick bagged a last-gasp smash-and-grab 3-2 victory over 10-man Lisburn Distillery.
Ben Roy was the hero as he netted an injury-time winner to see off Tommy Kincaid’s side in the dying embers of the game.
Carrick manager Gary Haveron described his team’s display as the worst performance of the season, but he was over the moon with the three points.
“We showed great spirit to keep going and going and it’s not over until the final whistle and we proved that today. We scored two goals late on and I’m delighted to get the win,” he said.
Carrick got off to the worst possible start when Marty Jones broke into the box and found the bottom corner with just three minutes on the clock.
Stephen Doyle almost doubled the Whites’ advantage but his beautiful long-range strike thundered off the crossbar.
Rangers huffed and puffed, offering precious little in the final third until Miguel Chines levelled matters with a sublime free-kick. His left-footed strike had whip and power and it zipped into the top corner, leaving keeper Ryan McBride rooted to the spot.
Ten minutes into the second session Distillery regained the initiative when Darren Smith’s close-range shot squirmed through the legs of goalkeeper Steven Mills, who deputising for the injured Brian Neeson.
Later in the half, Carrick lost Mills to a thigh strain and centre-back Ciaran Donaghy donned the number one shirt.
Momentum swung in the favour of the home side when Conor McCloskey was felled in the box by McBride with four minutes left to play. Up stepped Chines who placed the resultant penalty low to keeper’s left.
In a frantic finish to a pulsating second half, the Whites had Joe McDonnell sent off for a second bookable offence.
With numerical superiority, Carrick went in search of a winner and Aaron Traynor powered past a number of Distillery defenders and unleashed a fierce shot which McBride could only parry into the path of Roy who lifted the ball over the keeper and and into the net.
Carrick: Mills (Kelly), Traynor, Donaghy, Arthur, Smyth, Cherry (Lynch), Taggart (Roy), Harmon, McCloskey, Chines, Dick. Subs not used: Martin, Hamill.
Distillery: McBride, Kirgan, Thompson, Young, Morton, Kopyt, McIlhagga, McDonnell, Doyle, Smith, Jones. Subs: O’Connor, Bingham, Nixon, Southam, White.