CARRICK RANGERS 1 COLERAINE 2
Ten-man Coleraine made it three Danske Bank Premiership wins on the spin with a 2-1 success at Carrick Rangers.
A Brad Lyons header in the first minute gave Oran Kearney’s men the perfect start but a Ben Roy rocket brought Carrick level. James McLaughlin netted the winner with his sixth goal of the campaign just before the hour.
The visitors had captain Howard Beverland dismissed in the closing stages of the game for a second bookable offence.
The result means Gary Haveron’s men are still searching for their first home league win since gaining promotion.
The Bannsiders started like a house on fire, storming into the lead after 35 seconds when Brad Lyons rose above everyone else to head home Darren McCauley’s cross from the left.
A minute later Rodney Brown’s shot from the edge of the 18-yard box had Carrick stopper Brian Neeson at full stretch.
Carrick were very much on the back foot but a moment of magic from Roy put them on terms after 12 minutes when he rifled home an unstoppable right-foot drive from the edge of the box.
The lively McCauley forced Neeson into another save after he cut past Aaron Smyth on the left flank. Seconds later Lyons let fly from distance but his effort zipped wide of the target.
The home side then came close when Gary Browne forced Michael Doherty into a point-blank save from Joe McNeill’s corner, before Daniel Kelly’s smart backheel was cleared off the line.
Early in the second half, Rangers midfielder Kyle Cherry squandered a presentable offering while at the other end Lyons hit the post with a header.
Coleraine went 2-1 up with 57 minutes on the clock when McLaughlin hammered home his sixth of the season after Neeson had parried Brown’s header.
Aaron Traynor missed an absolute sitter for Carrick after 66 minutes. Somehow, the unmarked left-back, who was unselfishly set up by sub Miguel Chines, steered the ball wide of the target from close range when it looked easier to score.
Carrick finished the match with three strikers on the pitch as they went in search of an equaliser.
Late in the game Beverland was sent off for picking up second yellow cards and Carrick saw two appeals for hand ball inside the Coleraine box waved away by referee Steven Gregg.
Carrick Rangers: Neeson, Smyth (Doyle 54), Surgenor, Kelly, Traynor, McCaul, Cherry, McNeill (Chines 62), McCloskey, Browne, Roy (Miskimmin 73). Subs not used: Kane, Johnston.
Coleraine: Doherty, Beverland, Mullan, Douglas, McCauley (McGonigle 74), McCafferty, Harkin, Brown, McLaughlin (Morrow 73), Lyons, Watt. Subs not used: Falconer, Law, Finlay.
Referee: Steven Gregg (Ballyclare).