IRISH LEAGUE: McCloskey double sees Carrick sink Coleraine

Conor McCloskey scored twice against Coleraine.
Conor McCloskey scored twice against Coleraine.
  • Danske Bank Premiership: Carrick Rangers 2-1 Coleraine

Conor McCloskey stole the show as he fired Carrick to their first home league win of the season.

The midfielder scored a goal in either half to consign Coleraine to their second successive Danske Bank Premiership defeat.

It was Carrick’s first game at Taylor’s Avenue since October 31 and they certainly produced a battling display against the Bannsiders who looked short on confidence.

Coleraine’s goal arrived courtesy of a Darren McCauley header deep into time added on at the end of the second half, but will prove scant consolation after another below-par display.

Oran Kearney’s men had the better of the opening 15 minutes with left-back Mark Edgar seeing his speculative cross-shot from deep tipped over the bar by Brian Neeson.

Seconds later Edgar sent striker James McLaughlin racing through on goal but Neeson was quick off his line to snuff out the danger.

The Bannsiders squandered another opportunity with 22 minutes on the clock when Brad Lyons found himself in space on the right-hand side of the box but he steered his shot harmlessly wide of the far post.

But it was Carrick who broke the deadlock when McCloskey hooked the ball home from Gareth McKeown’s long throw.

Carrick had a foothold and Linfield loanee Adam Salley went close to doubling their advantage but he headed Miguel Chines’ tempting cross wide on 33 minutes.

At the other end, Neeson produced a fantastic stop, tipping McLaughlin’s volley around the post.

As the rain pelted down in the second half, Carrick absorbed early pressure from the Bannsiders and the visitors blew a big chance to level matters on 68 minutes when sub Jamie McGonigle steered his shot across the face of the goal and wide of the far post.

Carrick went straight up the other end and forced a corner. Chines put the ball on a sixpence for the unmarked McCloskey whose bullet header flew into the net before Michael Dougherty had a chance to react.

Coleraine pulled one back deep into added time when sub McAuley was left free to head home after Carrick failed to clear from a corner.

Carrick Rangers: Neeson, McKeown, Doyle (Kelly 53), Taggart, Traynor - Harmon (c), Surgenor (McNeill 83), Johnston, McCloskey - Chines (Roy 88), Salley. Subs not used: Cherry, Kane.

Coleraine: Dougherty - Kane, Beverland, Douglas, Edgar - McCafferty (McGonigle 64), Higgins, Harkin, - Brown (McAuley 75), McLaughlin, Lyons (Parkhill 75). Subs not used: Morrow, Law.

Referee: Tim Marshall.