Carrick Rangers 4-2 Dundela
Carrick Rangers progressed in the Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield on Tuesday evening as they picked up a 4-2 victory over Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League side Dundela.

It was a perfect start for the East Antrim side, as with only eight minutes on the clock they opened the scoring. Eamon McAllister whipped in a corner from the left which eventually fell at the feet of Denver Gage who side-footed into the net for his first goal of the season.

And less than a minute later it got better for Carrick as they doubled their advantage. An inviting cross from the right was capitalised upon by striker Mikel Suarez as he rose highest in the box to open his scoring account, his header giving ‘keeper Ryan McBride no chance.

At the other end, Dundela’s Jordan Hughes struck a low shot from distance however it lacked the power required to trouble ‘Gers goalkeeper Harry Doherty.

With just over 20 minutes played, Rangers were forced to make a change. A late challenge on Mark Surgenor left the midfielder in agony with an ankle injury and had to be stretchered off the pitch, with the experienced Chris Morrow coming on.

Young Sean Green looked to impress as he raced onto a long ball over the top and then dinked the ball over the advancing McBride, but he could only watch on as his effort landed on the wrong side of the post.

Carrick’s injury troubles continued as central-defender Stuart McMullan had to go off with a groin injury, forcing David McAlinden into a reshuffle as Ben Roy came on in left-midfield with Michael Smith dropping to left-back and Aaron Smyth moving across to centre-half.

The exciting Eamon McAllister then came so close to making it three as he cannoned a free-kick off the crossbar.

Soon after, Green continued to cause problems for the visiting defenders however his low shot was comfortably collected by McBride.

There was to be one final chance in the first half, but Roy couldn’t get his shot from McAllister’s low delivery on target, meaning the Taylors Avenue outfit took a two goal advantage in at the break.

With the second half not even in its first minute, the home side netted a third. Lee Chapman got a shot away which, despite the best efforts of a Dundela defender, ended up in the back of the net.

The East Belfast side looked to respond through the lively Jordan Hughes, but his effort slammed just past the post.

The away side did pull a goal back moments later however, as a cross deep to the back post was stabbed home by David McMaster.

Suarez looked to restore his side’s three goal margin as he side-footed wide from distance, and that was to be the striker’s last impact on the game as he was then replaced by Martin Maybin.

As the game entered its final stages, the ‘Gers were awarded a penalty. A counter-attack from a Dundela corner saw Green burst down the right-hand side before advancing towards goal before being chopped down, giving referee Evan Boyce no option but to point to the spot. Gavin Taggart stepped up to confidently send McBride the wrong way, becoming the third player to open his goal-scoring account on the night.

Just as the game seemed it was over, Dundela scored again. Carrick turned off allowing Hughes the time and space to compose himself before unleashing a shot from distance which flew into the bottom corner.

The full-time whistle confirmed a 4-2 win for Carrick in an exciting game which sees them advance to the semi-finals of the competition.

Carrick Rangers: Doherty; Chapman, McMullan (Roy, 29), Gage, Smyth; McAllister, Taggart, Surgenor (Morrow, 23), Smith; Green, Suarez (Maybin, 76).

Unused substitutes: Rice, Fogarty.

updated: 26 October 2017

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