David McDaid had the first opportunity of the afternoon as he weaved his way past two players however sent his shot over the bar from outside the area.
At the other end, Conor Devlin had to be alert to push Caolan Loughran’s free-kick over the bar before saving again from the centre-half, pushing away his powerful header from the resulting corner-kick.
On the 19th minute, Rangers opened the scoring. Their Inver Park opponents failed to clear their lines following a corner-kick, allowing Chris Rodgers to shot with his effort just going over the line amidst a scramble.
Carrick dominated the remainder of the half, ensuring that they took their one goal lead in at half-time.
Martin Donnelly had the first chance of the second half but fired well off target from the edge of the area.
On the 63rd minute, referee Declan Hassan pointed to the penalty spot as McDaid went down under the challenge of Rodgers. McDaid took on the responsibility himself but watched as his kick was superbly saved by the in-form Aaron Hogg.
Midfielder Lloyd Anderson then went close for the home side, sending a low strike from outside the area just whizzing past the post.
It was then the turn of Stewart Nixon to go close, as Devlin had to stretch to tip the forward’s shot past the post.
From the resulting corner-kick on the 70th minute, the ‘Gers doubled their advantage. Reece Neale delivered a perfect ball which was met by Daniel Kelly whose bullet header left the stranded Devlin hopeless.
Things didn’t get any better for the league leaders, as Manager Tiernan Lynch was sent to the stands by referee Hassan before midfielder Fuad Sule was shown a red card for his second bookable offence.
Denver Gage then replaced the sensational Chris Rodgers as Rangers continued to see out the game professionally.
Wing-back Tomas Cosgrove then sent a powerful strike towards goal, but Hogg was determined to keep his clean sheet, gathering the effort.
Further substitutions followed as Dylan Smiley replaced Stewart Nixon while Craig McMillen made way for Jack McAlister, the latest product of the Academy to make his debut for the first team.
The full-time whistle signalled the perfect end to 2018 for Niall Currie’s men; three points, a deserved win and the East Antrim derby bragging rights!
Carrick Rangers: Hogg; Rodgers (Gage, 85), Surgenor, Loughran; McCauley, Anderson, Kelly, Neale; McMillen (McAlister, 90+1); Nixon (Smiley, 89), Smith.
Unused substitutes: Malcolmson, Mitchell.