Sports Direct Premiership: Matchday 3

Carrick Rangers 2 - 0 Coleraine
15 Aug 2023 - 19:45Loughview Leisure Arena

COLERAINE were on the road for second time in four days as they were convincingly beaten 2-0 by Carrick Rangers at the Loughview Leisure Arena…

By: Charlie Cooke

There were three changes made to the Bannsiders’ starting line-up by Oran Kearney, which saw Stephen O’Donnell return to the defence, Aaron Jarvis in midfield and Lee Harkin up front. Lee Lynch and Andrew Mitchell were on the bench as Stephen Lowry was unnamed in the matchday panel.

Carrick Rangers had the first chance of the game on the first minute as David Cushley saw his shot comfortably saved by Gareth Deane from close range after he dribbled into the Coleraine penalty area.

The fourth minute saw Aaron Jarvis’ shot from outside the ‘Gers box deflect over the crossbar and out for a corner which came to nothing.

However, on 14 minutes, Kyle Cherry made it 1-0 to the hosts as Andrew Mitchell’s cross from the left wing found the midfielder’s head inside the Coleraine box. The ball looped over the outstretched arms of Deane and into the top right corner.

With 17 minutes played, Carrick were awarded a penalty after Jamie Glackin and Kyle Cherry tussled in the Bannsiders’ penalty area, with the Coleraine man receiving a yellow card for the incident. David Cushley sent Deane the wrong way which made it 2-0 to the ‘Gers.

On 24 minutes, Harkin regained possession for the Bannsiders in the midfield, he tried to find McDaid with a through ball but an important piece of defending from Albert Watson prevented McDaid from getting a shot away.

Just past the half hour mark, Andy Scott cut into the ‘Gers penalty area from the left wing but his low driven shot was smartly saved by Glendinning.

On 37 minutes, Carrick went close again as a counter-attack move saw Daniel Purkis drilling an effort harmlessly over the crossbar.

The last action of the first half saw McKendry on the right wing who delivered a dangerous cross which found the head of Lyndon Kane, unfortunately for the Bannsiders his effort went over the woodwork.

After three substitutions were made at half-time, the Bannsiders’ task would be made even more difficult as Glackin was dismissed for a second bookable offence on 58 minutes for a tackle on Cherry on the half way line.

Just after the hour mark, McKendry made himself space on the right wing as he whipped in a cross that just evaded the head of Andrew Mitchell.

With 70 minutes played, the Bannsiders were awarded a free kick about five yards outside the Carrick penalty area on the far-left side, the free kick is taken by Lee Lynch who saw his cross-come-shot ricochet off the top of the woodwork and out for a goal kick.

With three minutes remaining, McKendry saw his cross blocked as the ball went out for a corner, the is taken short and a dangerous met Graham Kelly’s head but the ball went by the ‘Gers post.

In Coleraine’s last meaningful attack of the game, McKendry was the artist of the Bannsiders attack again as he cut in from the right wing, which found himself on the edge of the Carrick box with a bit of magic feet he found space in between the wall of ‘Gers defenders. The ex-Ipswich Town trainee managed to get his shot away but the ball was a couple yards the other side of the post.

The Bannsiders’ next fixture sees them return home to the Ballycastle Road on Saturday as their opponents are the title holders Larne. 

CARRICK RANGERS: Glendinning, Forysthe, Stewart, Watson, Cushley (Glendinning ’46 mins), Mitchell (Montgomery ‘90+5 mins), Buchanan-Rolleston, Crowe (Surgenor ’84 mins), Cherry (McGuckin ’90 mins), Purkis (Maciulaitis ’90 mins), Tilney.

Subs Not Used: McCauley (GK), Andrews.

COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, D. Jarvis, Kelly, A. Jarvis (O’Mahony ’46 mins), McKendry, McDaid (McCrudden ’72 mins), O’Donnell (Lynch ’46 mins), Glackin, Harkin (Mitchell ’46 mins), Scott (Farren ’64 mins).

Subs Not Used: Donnelly (GK), Doherty.

Referee: Shane Andrews