Stewart Nixon (6)


Stewart Nixon scored Carrick's early winner


Carrick Rangers returned to winning ways as an early Stewart Nixon strike ensured a 1-0 win at the Loughshore Hotel Arena.

Captain Mark Surgenor had the first opportunity on the night as the ball fell to him in the box after three minutes, but the midfielder fired over from close range.

With six minutes on the clock, the 'Gers opened the scoring. Lloyd Anderson laid the ball off to Nixon who beat his man and, from the edge of the area, rifled a low shot into the bottom corner with his right foot.

At the other end, a defensive mix-up saw Adam Dougherty race through on goal, but the home defence recovered and put enough pressure on the forward to make him shoot wide.

Soon after, Nixon tried his luck from outside the area with a similar effort to his first, however this time Tom Hegan was equal to his shot in the Dergview goal.

The returning Lee Chapman then burst into the box from the right wing as he beat two defenders, but he sent his powerful shot over the bar.

Nixon continued to try and add to his tally for the evening as he went one-on-one with Hegan, however he struggled to get the ball out of his feet and his toe-poked attempt was palmed away.

Just before the break, Denver Gage headed over the bar from a Reece Neale corner as the hosts went in at the break with a narrow yet deserved lead.

The away side looked for an equaliser at the start of the second half, as Philip Wallace found the side-netting with his near post shot.

Niall Currie's men continued to press for a second goal as a long-range Criag McMillen effort was held by Hegan. Hegan was again tested shortly after as Martin Murray floated a free-kick just over the crossbar.

Minutes later, an acrobatic effort from Surgenor was gathered by the young Dergview keeper.

Carrick Rangers: Hogg, Chapman, Neale, Surgenor, Gage, Brennan, McMillen, Anderson, Murray, Nixon, Rodgers subs McDowell (replaced Murray 85), Warwick (not used), McDermott (not used), McCauley (not used), Sterling (replaced McMillen 90+1)

Dergview: Hegan, Falconer, Hargan, M. Buchanan, Burns, Sproule, Kirk, A. Dougherty, Smith, McGlynn, Wallace subs Ad. Buchanan, Crawford (replaced Kirk 74), Callaghan (replaced A. Dougherty 60), Doherty (replaced Smith 74), Maxwell (not used)

Referee: Mark Dillon

Tags:  Carrick Rangers  Dergview