IRISH PREMIERSHIP: Clarke nets winner as Warrenpoint edge past Carrick

Mark Clarke celebrates scoring Warrenpoint's second goal against Carrick. Photo: Presseye
Mark Clarke celebrates scoring Warrenpoint's second goal against Carrick. Photo: Presseye

Substitute Mark Clarke scored the winner for Warrenpoint Town as they moved within a point of Carrick Rangers with a 2-1 win at Taylor’s Avenue.

Conor McDonald’s 25th-minute opener put the visitors in the driving seat before Clarke came off the bench to double their advantage just after the hour-mark. Carrick’s Miguel Chines, on as a sub, gave the home side hope when he netted his fourth of the season from the spot.

Warrenpoint broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when Carrick keeper Brian Neeson’s botched punch clearance from a Mark Hughes shot fell into the path of McDonald. The midfielder gobbled up the chance, slotting in from close range at the near post.

Daniel Hughes then had the ball in the net on 34 minutes but referee Ross Dunlop had spotted a foul on Aaron Traynor.

Barry Gray’s side doubled their advantage on 61 minutes. Carrick were punished for some sloppy defending as they watched Mark Hughes’ free-kick drop all the way to the back post and Clarke gleefully bundled in from close range.

Carrick’s Ben Roy was through on goal with 68 minutes on the clock but Shanahan was quick to react and Kierans hooked the ball away from danger.

Gary Haveron’s men clawed their way back into the match when they were awarded a penalty after Paudie Smyth fouled Aaron Harmon inside the area. Chines, cool as you like, slotted home, guiding the ball into the bottom right-hand corner with a left-foot shot.

The Portuguese frontman almost rescued a point right at the death when he headed on to the post, before seeing his rebound effort saved.

Carrick Rangers: Neeson - Smyth, Kelly, Surgenor, Traynor - McNeill, Cash (Mackie 67), Harmon, Roy (Miskimmin 81) - Cherry (Chines 54) - Browne. Subs not used: Johnston, Kane.

Warrenpoint Town: Shanahan, King (Clarke 53), McVeigh (c), Dane, M. Hughes - Smyth (McCabe 81), Moan - Bagnall, McDonald (Kierans 45), S. Hughes, - D. Hughes. Subs not used: Murphy, Murray.

Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus).