Carrick Rangers 0
Crusaders 1
League (Sports Direct Premiership)

Carrick Rangers
0 - 1

League (Sports Direct Premiership)
Friday, December 8th, 2023
Loughview Leisure Arena
Attendance: 380
7:45 PM Kick-off

None. Philip Lowry (45)

Team Managers
Stuart King
Stephen Baxter

Starting Eleven
Ross Glendinning
Reece Glendinning
Steven Gordon
Lewis MacKinnon
Ben Tilney
Albert Watson
Joe Crowe
David Cushley
Nedas Maciulaitis
Emmett McGuckin
Danny Gibson
Jonny Tuffey
Billy Joe Burns
Josh Robinson
Daniel Larmour
Mal Smith
Jude Winchester
Jordan Forsythe
Jarlath O'Rourke
Philip Lowry
Paul Heatley
Jordan Owens

Ben McCauley
Ben Buchanan-Rolleston
Mark Surgenor
Josh Andrews
Curtis Allen
Jack Montgomery
Jaydyn Withers
Jordan Williamson
Robbie Weir
Adam Lecky
James Teelan
Mikhail Kennedy
Lloyd Anderson
Jonathan James

Mark Surgenor for Joe Crowe (79)
Curtis Allen for Steven Gordon (79)
Robbie Weir for Mal Smith (46)
Adam Lecky for Jordan Owens (64)
Lloyd Anderson for Philip Lowry (83)

Emmett McGuckin (76)
Nedas Maciulaitis (81)
Reece Glendinning (89)
Josh Robinson (58)
Paul Heatley (87)
Billy Joe Burns (89)
Daniel Larmour (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Ian McNabb (Referee)
Stephen Donaldson & Kristian Hanna (Assistants)
Lee Tavinder (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Philip Lowry’s 45th minute strike settled a close-fought encounter in Crusaders’ favour.

Despite heavy rain in the lead up to the game, the Loughview Leisure Arena surface passed its 5:00pm inspection to allow the action to proceed as planned, streamed live by the BBC Sport NI cameras.

In the only change to the side that drew 2-2 with Loughgall six days prior, Emmett McGuckin came in for Curtis Allen as Stuart King dispatched Nedas Maciulaitis and Danny Purkis to play in left and right wing respectively.

Rangers started the brighter of the two teams, highlighted by the award of a penalty-kick to the home team after just six minutes.

Ben Tilney went on a mazy run down the left, twice getting past opposing full-back Mal Smith before he was clipped by Billy Joe Burns in the box with referee Ian McNabb immediately pointing to the spot.

Skipper David Cushley donned the responsibility from twelve yards but his spot-kick, which he struck hard and low towards the centre of goal, was kept out by the body of visiting goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey.

Tilney then went close himself as his shot from just over twenty yards out stung the palms of Tuffey with centre-half Josh Robinson then on hand to clear the ball away.

Carrick’s ascendency continued as a great turn out right from Danny Purkis got him away from Daniel Larmour and, after skipping past Burns, he saw his resulting shot from a similar position to Tilney’s tipped over the crossbar.

Crusaders’ first chance of the evening came when Jordan Forsythe’s ball over the top was brought down by Paul Heatley who narrowly side-footed beyond the upright from the left channel of the box.

Just as it appeared the teams would remain at stalemate come half time, the visitors took the lead.

Jarlath O’Rourke found midfielder Philip Lowry down the left who took a touch inside before arrowing a pinpoint strike into the far corner from the 18 yard line.

Now needing an equaliser as they entered the second period, Tilney remained Rangers’ liveliest threat as he dribbled into the area away from the chasing defenders but couldn't find the direction nor power required with his right-footed shot to trouble Tuffey.

As the contest entered its final ten minutes, Lewis MacKinnon’s long ball was flicked on by Emmett McGuckin towards Danny Purkis but it was just behind the forward who wasn’t able to control it, allowing Forsythe to rush in and clear the danger.

Then, in the first minute of injury time, a corner-kick was cleared out as far as Cushley who, from outside the area, smashed a low shot the wrong side of the post to ultimately sum up a night where the ‘Gers put on a performance to be proud of but were unable to find the back of the net when it counted.

Match report written by Ryan Clarke (Official Club Website)

Squad Statistics (as at December 8th, 2023)

2023-24 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)30 21 - 61 -
Reece Glendinning28 2321274
Steven Gordon30 8 - 662
Lewis MacKinnon20 121121
Ben Tilney26 2311064
Albert Watson38 14 - 14 -
Joe Crowe25 191191
David Cushley34 2359620
Nedas Maciulaitis24 254418
Emmett McGuckin32 231929
Danny Gibson28 25112511
Mark Surgenor (sub)37 23 - 27511
Curtis Allen (sub)35 2373815

League Table (as at December 8th, 2023)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Larne 20 13 6 1 +27 45
2. Linfield 18 14 1 3 +24 43
3. Cliftonville 19 13 2 4 +33 41
4. Crusaders 19 10 5 4 +18 35
5. Glentoran 19 9 4 6 +17 31
6. Coleraine 19 7 5 7 -6 26
7. Glenavon 20 7 2 11 -14 23
8. Loughgall 19 6 4 9 -7 22
9. Carrick 20 6 3 11 -22 21
10. Dungannon 19 3 6 10 -13 15
11. Ballymena 20 3 3 14 -25 12
12. Newry City 20 3 3 14 -32 12