After a run of comfortable wins against lower-placed teams, Carrick Colts U13s faced stiffer competition from one of title challengers.
First time around Lisburn Youth comprehensively won 4-1, and Saturday’s clash was a challenge to improve on that scoreline.
A competitive and even start produced chances at both ends with two fingertip saves from Carrick stopper Joshua Holden helping keep the scores even.
On nine minutes a shot from Joel Phillips was spilled by their keeper and Scott Rankin forced the ball over the line.
Two minutes later the scores were level when Lisburn equalised despite the gallant attempt of right-back Tom Kennedy to keep it out.
But thanks to dogged play by Rankin in the penalty area, the Colts were awarded a penalty, only for Phillips to place beyond the post.
Then some sloppy defending allowed Lisburn to take the lead from a well-executed corner.
The second half saw the Colts gain total control of the match with the central midfield pairing of Scott Morgan and Conor Blair to the fore.
Against the run of play, a direct ball over the top split Carrick’s defence and Lisburn made it 3-1.
The Colts hit back with a fine individual goal from substitute striker Ryan Black.
Despite numerous attempts, Carrick were unable to secure the elusive equaliser.
Man of the Match: Scott Morgan.