Carrick Rangers edged through to the quarter-finals of the Irish Cup thanks to a slender 1-0 win over 10-man Crumlin Star.
Veteran frontman Miguel Chines’ second-half penalty - his 12th goal of the season - decided the match, setting up a last-eight home tie with Crusaders.
It was a plucky display from Star who had Gary McKernan sent off for the foul which led to the spot-kick, but, in the end, Carrick just had the edge in a poor Cup tie.
The Gers must now refocus for Friday night’s Premiership six-pointer against Warrenpoint.
It was difficult to tell which side were the underdogs in a turgid first half with precious few clear-cut chances to test either keeper.
Crumlin Star had the first real opportunity when the ball dropped to the lively Ciaran Murphy but his shot, from a central position inside the box, went straight into the hands of Carrick stopper Brian Neeson.
Sixty seconds later Rangers left-back Aaron Traynor negotiated his way into the box but his low effort was comfortably saved by Ciaran McNeill.
After a quarter of an hour, Conor McCloskey teed up Chines on the edge of the area only for the Portuguese striker to steer his shot narrowly over the bar.
At the other end, Star’s Barry McKervey went close with a left-footed free-kick from 20 yards out, but it dipped on the wrong side of the crossbar.
Early in the second half Star striker Murphy had the ball in the net but he was flagged for offside.
McCloskey should have at least hit the target from Ryan Kane’s knockdown on 53 minutes but the Gers midfielder blazed it high over the bar.
The breakthrough came on 62 minutes when McCloskey was brought down by centre-back McKernan. Referee Ian McNabb pointed to the spot and brandished a straight red to the Star defender. Up stepped Chines, cool as ice, to slot the ball into the bottom left-hand corner with the help of the upright.
Chines went close with a free-kick a few minutes later and Kane’s looping shot from the right was tipped on to the bar by the alert Ciaran McNeill.
Carrick Rangers: Neeson, Smyth, Traynor, Taggart, Doyle, Kane, Harmon (c), Johnston, McCloskey (McCaul 85), Salley (Kelly 61), Chines (Wright 90). Subs not used: Wallace, Rice.
Crumlin Star: McNeill, Campbell, McNeill, McKernan, Berne, McLarnon, Brown (O’Neill 82), Mooney (Prigent 82), Burns, Murphy, McKervey. Subs not used: Campbell, McDowell, Mervyn.
Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey).