‘Travesty of justice’ for Carrick at Windsor Park

David didn’t quite slay Goliath at Windsor Park, but he came within a hair’s breadth of it and the Carrick Rangers manager insists it should have been the result that rookie bosses like himself dare dream about.

“Never mind David and Goliath, I always say that Linfield v Carrick Rangers and others of our ilk are basically mismatches in terms of resources. Indeed, I say that ourselves going to Windsor Park is like somebody with a slingshot taking on someone brandishing a machine gun,” said boss Gary Haveron.

“There was a comment made to me by a backroom staff member on Saturday which adequately illustrates the difference in our respective budgets. I was staggered when he told me that Linfield spend £800 per month on sweets and drinks for training and match days.

“Just looking at the respective benches speaks volumes about the quality of players at their disposal, but we have gone there and played out of our skins and we really should not have come home with just a single point.

“Conor McCloskey should have been leaving Windsor Park with the matchball. He missed an early chance and then, with the goalkeeper well beaten, he couldn’t keep the ball on target, then had the ball kicked off the line from a third glorious chance. And Joe McNeill rattled the ball against the crossbar when he really should have scored.

“So, just taking those missed opportunities alone into account, it was a travesty of justice that they managed to scramble a point on Saturday.

“We were the team who created most chances and who really deserved to be taking all three points.

“And conceding with just four minutes left was the thing of nightmares, even if I willingly confess that I’d have broken your arm to get a point before the match kicked off,” added Haveron, who expressed typical optimism ahead of the two matches this week.

“Tuesday’s County Antrim Shield match against The Welders is a great opportunity for us to get into a senior semi-final, especially after beating them in two finals last season.

“And then on Saturday we will be very keen to bank three points when we welcome Ballymena United for the first time in quite a few year.

“This is a huge County Antrim derby, especially given the fact that both clubs are desperate to move away from the lower reaches of the league table, Ballymena ending a four-match search for a win by snatching a late goal against Dungannon on Saturday.

“I heard Spike Ferguson say on the radio that they had been playing better in their previous game and didn’t win. Well, I can tell him that we had played very well in our previous four games and didn’t get the reward we deserved from any of them, not to even mention the Windsor episode,” added the determined Rangers manager.