A Miguel Chines double helped fire Carrick Rangers to a 3-1 win over Armagh City on Tuesday night, cementing their place at the top of Championship 1.
Ben Roy got the ball rolling for the Gers with 18 minutes on the clock when he fired low into the bottom corner.
Midway through the first-half, City’s Stephen Murray levelled matters with a penalty after Andy Hoey had been felled in the box.
Chines’ first goal of the evening arrived on 34 minutes when he showed ice-cold composure to send keeper Sean Morgan the wrong way from the spot following a foul on Roy.
Carrick held their slender one-goal advantage until seven minutes from time when the free-scoring Portuguese frontman raced on to Daniel Kelly’s header before rounding Morgan and slotting home.
“At this stage I think our performance goes out the window. We’re focused on trying to get three points from every game,” said Chines after the match.
“We didn’t get the best of starts, we were kind of shaky but we managed to pull ourselves together and we went one up.
“We gave a penalty away and luckily enough we managed to get ahead again. We re-grouped at half-time made sure we were organised and the tactics were right. And we gave it a good go.”
First-team coach Gary Haveron added: “All we can do is take care of our own results and if we get nine points out of the next three games, we’re going to win the league. But that’s easier said than done.”
Elsewhere in Championship 1, Ards kept the heat on Carrick when they defeated the Welders 2-1 and Bangor’s 3-0 win at Dergview means the destination of the title looks like it will go to the wire.
At the other end of the table PSNI boosted their survival hopes with a 3-1 victory against Lisburn Distillery.
Carrick Rangers: Neeson, Smythh Traynor, Donaghy, Kelly, Watson, McCloskey (R. Arthur), Cherry (McConnell), Chines, Roy (Hammill), Kane. Subs: McKenna, Dick.
Armagh City: Morgan, Montgomery, R. McGerrigan, Grimley, Noonan, Kelly, Moore, Mallon, Hoey, Murray, Donnelly. Subs: McAnallen, Cullen, S. McGerrigan, Boyle, McNamee.