Adam McCallum (OG) (74)
Stewart Nixon (90 2)




Carrick Rangers reached the Danske Bank Premiership promotion/relegation play-offs following a two-goal victory over Portadown at the Loughshore Hotel Arena.

In this pre play-off encounter, Niall Currie's side started brightly with Caolan Loughran twice threatening during the early exchanges before Daniel Kelly struck an upright from distance after eight minutes.

Portadown responded through a Chris Lavery free-kick which whistled just past the post while Kevin Braniff then crafted a number of openings, albeit without any success.

Braniff did come close towards the break, however, with a header after Ryan Carmichael had knocked on Jerry Thompson's delivery but the ball came off the outside of the post.

The Ports did have the ball in the net early in the second half but this was ruled out for an infringement on Carrick keeper Aaron Hogg.

Another chance followed for the visitors when Carmichael just couldn't direct a Braniff cross on target.

However, on 74 minutes, the deadlock was finally broken when a Reece Neale cross from the left deflected off Adam McCallum under pressure from Lukasz Adamczyk into the net.

Then, in stoppage time, Stewart Nixon made sure of Carrick's victory when he raced in to slot the ball home after Adamczyk's header had sent him clear.

Rangers now host Ards on Friday night (3rd) in the first leg, before travelling to the Bangor Fuels Arena on Monday 6th for the return. Both games kick-off at 7:45pm.

Carrick Rangers: Hogg, Chapman, Neale, Surgenor, Rodgers, Loughran, McMillen, Anderson, Kelly, Nixon, Smith subs Adamczyk (replaced McMillen 69), Strain(replaced Smith 85), McNeill (not used), McDermott (not used), Coyle (not used)

Portadown: Dunne, McCallum, Finnegan, Lavery, Braniff, Hall, Thompson, Bradley, Wilson, Carmichael, Mackle subs Murphy (not used), Carson (not used), Larkin (not used), Kilmartin (not used), Salley (replaced Carmichael 87), Duke (replaced Bradley 77), Douglas (replaced Mackle 84)

Referee: Declan Hassan

Tags:  Carrick Rangers  Portadown