Carrick Rangers moved up to fourth spot in Championship 1 after Tuesday night’s 2-0 victory over Loughgall.
A goal in either half from Ryan Arthur and substitute Nathan McConnell gave the Gers all three points in a comfortable night’s work at Taylor’s Avenue.
Kick-off, originally scheduled for 7:45 pm was delayed by 23 minutes due to a problem with the floodlights.
When the action got under way it was the home side who forced the issue early on and they were rewarded on 16 minutes when Ryan Arthur rose above everyone else at the back post to head home Miguel Chines’ inviting corner.
Ten minutes into the second half Conor McCloskey came agonisingly close to doubling Carrick’s advantage when his 20-yard free-kick from zipped narrowly wide of the upright.
At the other end, ‘keeper Brian Neeson was called into action when he tipped Stephen Ferguson’s free-kick over the bar.
Chines really should have netted when he was in on goal, but Buchanan stopped his shot with his feet.
That all-important second goal arrived on 66 minutes when McCloskey broke down the right and cut the ball back for McConnell who steered the ball into the bottom corner from close range.
Buchanan produced the save of the night getting his fingertips to Kyle Cherry’s long-range effort to turn it round the post.
Carrick Rangers: Neeson, R. Arthur, Traynor, Donaghy, Kelly, Watson (Hamill) , Martin, Cherry, McCloskey, Chines (G. Arthur), Dick (McConnell). Subs not used: Taggart, Roy.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Stewart, Copeland, Wilson, Brady, Reynolds, Ferguson, Willis, Dallas, Magill, Smyth. Subs: McConville, Thompson, Steenson, Smith.
Referee: Ken Gibbons.