Carrick Rangers 1
Linfield 2
League (Sports Direct Premiership)

Carrick Rangers
1 - 2

League (Sports Direct Premiership)
Friday, October 13th, 2023
Loughview Leisure Arena
Attendance: 1,519
7:45 PM Kick-off

Emmett McGuckin (82)
Kurtis Forsythe (o.g.) (61)
Kyle McClean (71)

Team Managers
Stuart King
David Healy

Starting Eleven
Ross Glendinning
Kurtis Forsythe
Reece Glendinning
Lewis MacKinnon
Mark Surgenor
Ben Tilney
Joe Crowe
David Cushley
Curtis Allen
Nedas Maciulaitis
Danny Gibson
Chris Johns
Daniel Finlayson
Ben Hall
Euan East
Matthew Clarke
Kyle McClean
Chris Shields
Kirk Millar
Joel Cooper
Darragh McBrien
Matthew Fitzpatrick

Ben McCauley
Ben Buchanan-Rolleston
Callum Mills
Josh Andrews
Kyle Cherry
Emmett McGuckin
Jaydyn Withers
David Walsh
Michael Newberry
Jack Scott
Max Haygarth
Jamie Mulgrew
John Robertson
Rhys Annett

Emmett McGuckin for Reece Glendinning (77)
Kyle Cherry for David Cushley (77)
Jamie Mulgrew for Darragh McBrien (74)

Kurtis Forsythe (68)
Nedas Maciulaitis (78)
Matthew Clarke (36)
Euan East (39)
Jamie Mulgrew (90+6)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Chris Morrison (Referee)
Gavin Hegarty & Shane Geary (Assistants)
Raymond Crangle (Fourth Official)

Match Report

An impressive display from the ‘Gers didn’t end with a result to match as they were narrowly defeated by Linfield.

Stuart King remained with the same outfield side that had been victorious against Dundela in the County Antrim Shield quarter-final three days prior, with Ross Glendinning returning between the sticks.

Coming into this contest on the back of four consecutive wins across three competitions, the confidence Carrick carried showed as they took control of proceedings after a cagey opening twenty minutes.

A great opportunity was crafted when Danny Purkis’ low cross from the right found Curtis Allen in the middle with his back to goal from six yards out. The striker, however, was bundled into from behind by Ben Hall but Rangers’ penalty appeals were not successful with referee Chris Morrison.

A deep corner-kick from David Cushley was then headed back into the danger zone by Lewis MacKinnon where it broke for Purkis but as he turned on the ball he misfired, blazing his effort well off target.

Kurtis Forsythe was next to attack for the hosts as he drove down the right wing before cutting inside and getting to the edge of the area where an unfortunate bobble saw him slice his shot over the top of the goal.

At the other end, a pinpoint delivery into the penalty area by Kirk Millar found striker Matthew Fitzpatrick but he couldn’t get the right direction on his headed attempt as it went well over the target.

The ‘Gers failed to take another golden opportunity before the break as Reece Glendinning’s corner-kick was flicked on towards the far post by Curtis Allen where the combination of Purkis and MacKinnon were unable to make the connection required to convert from close range.

After the interval Rangers picked up where they left off as an under-hit back pass from Hall was almost pounced upon by Purkis who chased after it but just couldn’t get there ahead of goalkeeper Chris Johns.

Ben Tilney then went close as he found space on the left side from Nedas Maciulaitis’ pass, taking a touch before firing a powerful strike that stung the palms of Johns at the near post.

Linfield began to grow into the game, with Fitzpatrick pulling the ball back for Chris Shields whose shot from twenty yards was parried by Ross Glendinning.

The Blues then saw a penalty appeal of their own not given as Joel Cooper appeared to be caught in the box by Reece Glendinning but again referee Chris Morrison was unconvinced.

David Healy’s side eventually made their momentum in the contest count as they took the lead just after the hour mark.

Kirk Millar’s dangerous delivery from the right was inadvertently put into his own net by Forsythe at the far post to break the deadlock.

Ten minutes later, Linfield doubled their advantage. Clarke’s long throw into the box wasn’t cleared as the ball broke for Kyle McClean who drilled it low into the bottom corner on the turn.

It wasn’t a case of game over, however, as Rangers refused to throw the towel in and halved the deficit with eight minutes of normal time remaining.

Tilney’s long ball into the box found substitute Emmett McGuckin who rose highest from ten yards out to get on the end of it with a superb header that looped over Johns to find the net.

The ‘Gers would push hard for an equaliser with Kyle Cherry’s free-kick from thirty yards the closest they came when it was pushed away by Johns.

Ultimately, however, Linfield held on to leave the Loughview Leisure Arena with all three points.

Match report written by Ryan Clarke (Official Club Website)

Squad Statistics (as at October 13th, 2023)

2023-24 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)30 12 - 52 -
Kurtis Forsythe21 1511042
Reece Glendinning28 13 - 1172
Lewis MacKinnon20 3 - 3 -
Mark Surgenor37 14 - 26611
Ben Tilney26 151984
Joe Crowe25 121121
David Cushley34 1558820
Curtis Allen35 1442912
Nedas Maciulaitis24 152316
Danny Gibson28 158158
Kyle Cherry (sub)30 11121121
Emmett McGuckin (sub)32 131829

League Table (as at October 13th, 2023)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Linfield 12 10 1 1 +17 31
2. Cliftonville 12 8 2 2 +24 26
3. Crusaders 12 7 3 2 +18 24
4. Larne 12 6 5 1 +16 23
5. Glentoran 12 6 2 4 +8 20
6. Coleraine 12 6 2 4 -3 20
7. Loughgall 12 4 3 5 -4 15
8. Carrick 12 4 1 7 -16 13
9. Newry City 12 3 1 8 -19 10
10. Dungannon 12 1 5 6 -9 8
11. Glenavon 12 2 1 9 -18 7
12. Ballymena 12 2 0 10 -14 6