Carrick boss Gary Haveron lavished praise on his players as they returned to Taylor’s Avenue to claim a battling 2-1 success over Coleraine.
A goal in either half from midfielder Conor McCloskey fired Rangers to their first home league win of the season, lifting them out of the bottom two.
It was Carrick’s first game on their own patch since October 31 and they certainly produced a plucky performance against the Bannsiders who have now lost two on the spin.
Coleraine’s goal was mere consolation, arriving courtesy of a Darren McCauley header deep into time added on at the end of the second half.
The playing surface looked heavy but there no complaints from either manager after the game.
“People have said a lot about the pitch but we were all delighted just to have football back at Taylor’s Avenue,” Haveron said. “Yes, the pitch was heavy but I told the lads it was a day to stand up and be counted. We knew we had to be direct and we knew we weren’t going to get too many passing moves on that surface. But, to a man, they were fantastic.
“We scored at good times this week - especially the second one when they had started putting us under a little bit of pressure at the start of the second half. I’m delighted, to be honest.
“It has been difficult for us being away from our home ground. I said right at the very start of the season that our home advantage will be massive for us in terms of survival. We have a lot of home games coming up and I just hope the weather gives us a chance.”
Haveron’s opposite number, Oran Kearney added: “The pitch played well and it held up well. Especially after a defeat, the last thing I’m going to do is come here and say the surface is this or it’s that. Credit to everybody who put in the work this week to push it over the line and get the game on.”