Carrick’s Friday night defeat to Warrenpoint Town means they slip to the bottom rung of the Danske Bank Premiership.
They swapped places with Barry Gray’s men who move two points ahead of their opponents after Conor McDonald’s second-half header bagged a 1-0 win at Seaview. It was the first time this season Warrenpoint have managed to lift themselves off the basement spot in the top-flight.
Carrick, forced to play the game at Seaview because of problems with the pitch at Taylor’s Avenue, were made to pay for a real lack of cutting edge in front of goal. Their failure to put the ball in the net ultimately cost them.
Carrick boss Gary Haveron felt his team deserved more from the game: “I thought we were the better side if I’m being truthful,” he said. “They had a few chances at the end when we went for it.
“I’m disappointed because I don’t think we played particularly badly. Fair enough, we conceded a criminal goal ... but we’ve had all the play in the second half and we’ve created better chances but we just haven’t been clinical enough in front of goal.”
A pivotal moment for Rangers was the sending-off of club stalwart Glenn Taggart on 52 minutes. The veteran defender saw red for what appeared to be a late challenge on Jonny McMurray. It was his first-ever red card in 18 years at the club and Haveron felt his man won the ball.
“It’s harsh,” he said. “Glenn Taggart wins the ball. It’s not that long ago that the crowd would have cheered for a tackle like that because it was a robust tackle. Yes, it’s hard. Does he win the ball? Yes, 100 per cent he wins the ball first and his follow through catches the man.
“It wasn’t a dangerous tackle. Yes, he kind of collided with him but it’s football. It’s a contact sport. If we’re going to take contact out of football, it’s madness.”
Warrenpoint boss Gray said there was a palpable sense of relief in the dressing room after his team secured the three points.
“It was ugly,” he admitted. “There’s no doubt about it. We seemed to be more comfortable before we scored the goal than we did afterwards.
“We certainly didn’t look like we had one extra when they had a man sent off. Full credit to them, it was such a tight scoreline and they had nothing to lose so they were going to come at us. We’re disappointed with how we managed that part of the game.”
He added: “It’s nice for the players to be able to say they are off the bottom of the table but there’s still lots to do yet.”