Carrick Rangers 1
Larne 2
League (Sports Direct Premiership)

Carrick Rangers
1 - 2

League (Sports Direct Premiership)
Tuesday, December 26th, 2023
Loughview Leisure Arena
Attendance: 1,282
3:00 PM Kick-off

Curtis Allen (78)
Leroy Millar (27)
Andy Ryan (76)

Team Managers
Stuart King
Tiernan Lynch

Starting Eleven
Ross Glendinning
Ben Buchanan-Rolleston
Kurtis Forsythe
Steven Gordon
Cameron Stewart
Ben Tilney
Albert Watson
Joe Crowe
David Cushley
Curtis Allen
Danny Gibson
Rohan Ferguson
Tomas Cosgrove
Craig Farquhar
Aaron Donnelly
Kieran Lloyd
Joe Thomson
Jaziel Orozco
Levi Ives
Leroy Millar
Andy Ryan
Lee Bonis

Ben McCauley
Reece Glendinning
Mark Surgenor
Josh Andrews
Andy Mitchell
Jack Montgomery
Jaydyn Withers
Aidan Dowling
Mark Randall
Paul O'Neill
Shea Gordon
Micheal Glynn
Odhran McCart

Andy Mitchell for Joe Crowe (90)
Shea Gordon for Joe Thomson (82)

Kurtis Forsythe (42)
Joe Crowe (57)
Danny Gibson (64)
Steven Gordon (94)
Levi Ives (65)
Joe Thomson (77)
Jaziel Orozco (83)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Ben McMaster (Referee)
John Doherty & Kristian Hanna (Assistants)
Mark Milligan (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Goals from Leroy Millar and Andy Ryan saw Larne leave the Loughview Leisure Arena with all three points on Boxing Day.

Rangers carried positive momentum into this festive fixture following back-to-back wins against Ballymena United and Newry City.

An accumulation of yellow cards saw Nedas Maciulaits suspended, with Ben Buchanan-Rollestin coming into a rejigged side in his place, while Emmett McGuckin also missed out for the first game after his straight red card.

It was Tiernan Lynch’s men that started the game the better of the two sides, and after Levi Ives’ shot was blocked by Kurtis Forsythe on 17 minutes, the Inver Park outfit opened the scoring just short of the half hour mark.

Aaron Donnelly’s delivery into the box found midfielder Millar who got away from Buchanan-Rolleston before firing a shot into the far corner of the net.

Carrick struggled to get going in the first half as their opponents were well in the ascendancy; Scottish striker Andy Ryan going close to doubling their advantage when he turned and fired a low snapshot wide of the upright from twenty yards.

‘Gers boss Stuart King would have been relieved to hear the half time whistle, giving him the opportunity to reset his troops who came out and looked much livelier throughout the second period.

First, some fine skill up the right flank from Forsythe created Carrick’s first chance of note, but the wing-back fired over from an awkward angle.

Danny Purkis was next to threaten as he latched onto David Cushley’s perfectly weighted through ball, made his way down the left channel of the penalty area and shot powerfully at goal with the ball clipping the top of the crossbar.

Rangers’ search for a leveller continued as a long ball forward from Buchanan-Rolleston found the run of Curtis Allen who ran towards the left side of the box to evade defensive duo Craig Farquhar and Tomas Cosgrove before forcing ‘keeper Rohan Ferguson into a fine save as he tipped the ball over the top of the crossbar.

Against the run of play, Larne grabbed their second goal of the day with a quarter of an hour remaining.

A throw-in high up the pitch was taken by Ives to the feet of Millar on the byline who was afforded the space and time to cross towards the front post where Ryan converted from five yards.

However, the ‘Gers refused to throw the towel in as they halved the deficit only minutes later.

Buchanan-Rolleston’s long free-kick was headed into the penalty area by Cameron Stewart where the alert Allen got to the ball ahead of Ferguson before taking it past the visiting ‘keeper and scoring into the empty net.

Ultimately, however, it wouldn’t be enough as Larne got over the line in the closing stages to seal the win in what was a close-fought encounter.

Match report written by Ryan Clarke (Official Club Website)

Squad Statistics (as at December 26th, 2023)

2023-24 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)30 24 - 64 -
Ben Buchanan-Rolleston21 13 - 18 -
Kurtis Forsythe21 2411132
Steven Gordon30 11 - 692
Cameron Stewart26 13 - 332
Ben Tilney26 2611094
Albert Watson38 17 - 17 -
Joe Crowe25 222222
David Cushley34 2669921
Curtis Allen35 2684116
Danny Gibson28 28122812
Andy Mitchell (sub)31 9 - 444

League Table (as at December 26th, 2023)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Linfield 22 18 1 3 +30 55
2. Larne 23 16 6 1 +32 54
3. Cliftonville 23 16 3 4 +39 51
4. Glentoran 23 11 5 7 +17 38
5. Crusaders 22 11 5 6 +16 38
6. Coleraine 23 8 5 10 -9 29
7. Carrick 23 8 3 12 -20 27
8. Glenavon 23 8 2 13 -14 26
9. Loughgall 23 7 4 12 -11 25
10. Dungannon 23 4 6 13 -15 18
11. Ballymena 23 4 3 16 -27 15
12. Newry City 23 3 3 17 -38 12