Carrick Rangers 1–1 Glenavon
Danske Bank Premiership
Loughview Leisure Arena
Saturday 28th January 2023
Match report by Calum Jones
Captain Danny Wallace struck late to salvage a point for Glenavon as they drew 1-1 at Carrick Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
Both sides had a man sent off in the first half, with Carrick’s Kyle Cherry being shown a straight red card for a tackle on Robert Garrett inside the opening 10 minutes, while Glenavon’s Jack Malone received his marching orders for a foul on Kurtis Forsythe in the 39th minute.
It was Forsythe who gave the hosts the lead on 70 minuteswhen his shot found the net after taking a couple of deflections, but Wallace struck in the 88th minute to rescue a point for the Lurgan Blues.
There was still time for more drama, as Carrick boss Stuart King was sent from the dugout for a second bookable offence a minute after Wallace’s equalising goal.
Wallace might have got on the scoresheet as early as the fifth minute. Peter Campbell whipped in a free kick from the right, and with Wallace lurking at the back post, it looked like the full-back was going to have a chance to score, but in the end he couldn’t connect with the ball.
Carrick saw Cherry dismissed just nine minutes in. The midfielder went in high on Garrett right in front of the home dugout, and referee Steven Gregg decided it was a challenge that warranted a red card, a decision which left Rangers manager King apoplectic.
Malone delivered a corner for Glenavon on the quarter-hour mark which picked out Calum Birney. The centre-half elected to head the ball back across goal rather than try to score himself. Matthew Snoddy did manage to get a boot to the ball, but on the stretch, all he could do was send it over the bar.
Garrett hit a good shot with his right foot from distance on 34 minutes, but Ross Glendinning was equal to the effort, diving to his right to make the save.
Malone’s free kick from deep in the 38th minute found Wallace in the penalty area, but his flicked header cleared the crossbar.
The Lurgan Blues were reduced to 10 men a minute later, and it was Malone who was ordered off the pitch for a challenge on Forsythe which took place on almost exactly the same spot as the earlier dismissal.
The early period of the second half was void of much meaningful action, but as the game wore on, it was the home side who were in the ascendency, and they were rewarded with the opening goal in the 70th minute. A neat passing move on the right involving Forsythe, Lloyd Anderson and Nedas Maciulaitis resulted in a shooting chance for Forsythe. The right-back struck a side-footed effort with his right foot which deflected off Andrew Doyle and Birney before evading goalkeeper Rory Brown and finding the net.
Buoyed by their goal, it looked like the home side would go on to extend their lead. Striker Emmett McGuckin turned and fired a low shot wide of the far post on 74 minutes, while Ben Tilney hit the target with another low strike a minute later, but Brown was able to get down to his right to make the save.
Just moments after that, Tilney forced Brown into action again. This time the goalkeeper came out to smother an effort from a tight angle.
Glenavon had their goalkeeper to thank again in the 86thminute when he denied Tilney for a third time, keeping out a well-struck left-foot shot.
The Lurgan Blues snatched an equaliser on 88 minutes. A freekick from deep was sent into the Carrick box, and when the home side initially failed to clear, Campbell picked up the loose ball and sent a cross into the six-yard box. Steven Gordon headed that away, but young Jamie Doran did well to nip in between a couple of Rangers defenders and direct the ball back into the six-yard box. It was pinball then, with player-manager Gary Hamilton getting something on the ball to square it to Wallace. The Glenavon captain’s first touch was poor, and it looked like the opportunity had been lost, but when Mark Surgenor attempted to tackle Wallace on the line, he inadvertently played the ball off the Glenavon man and into the net for the scrappiest of goals.
There was still time for one last bit of drama, as Carrick boss King held onto the ball when it went out after Hamilton had won a free kick near the dugouts a minute after the Wallace goal. Having already been shown a yellow card for his protests about the decision to send Cherry off in the first half, King was shown a second yellow and the accompanying red card by referee Gregg, and the game finished 1-1.
This result keeps Glenavon in eighth place in the standings, one place and two points above Carrick Rangers.
Attention turns to the Irish Cup next Saturday (February 4th), as Glenavon host Championship side Harland and Wolff Welders in a sixth–round tie. Kick-off at Mourneview Park will be at 3pm.
Carrick Rangers: 1. Ross Glendinning (GK), 2. Kurtis Forsythe, 5. James Ervin, 6. Steven Gordon, 7. David Cushley (C), 9. Emmett McGuckin, 20. Kyle Cherry, 23. Reece Glendinning, 30. Nedas Maciulaitis, 39. Ben Tilney, 42. Lloyd Anderson
Subs: 8. Andrew Mitchell (for 7. David Cushley, 78’), 4. Mark Surgenor (for 30. Nedas Maciulaitis, 87’); not used: 18. Aaron Hogg (GK), 11. Alexander Gawne, 14. Ronan Kalla, 15. Benjamin Buchanan-Rolleston, 26. Jamal Dupree
Goals: 2. Kurtis Forsythe (70’)
Yellow cards: None
Red cards: 20. Kyle Cherry (9’)
Glenavon: 1. Rory Brown (GK), 4. Calum Birney, 6. Andrew Doyle, 7. Matthew Snoddy, 10. Peter Campbell, 16. Isaac Baird, 21. Aaron Prendergast, 23. Daniel Wallace (C)
Subs: 8. Michael O’Connor (for 16. Isaac Baird, 58), 24. Jamie Doran (for 7. Matthew Snoddy, 68’), 40. Gary Hamilton (for 6. Andrew Doyle, 84’); not used: 18. Marc Matthews (GK), 14. Harry Norton, 15. Harry Lynch, 37. Liam Corr
Goals: 23. Daniel Wallace (88’)
Yellow cards: 7. Matthew Snoddy (19’), 28. Robert Garrett (58’), 8. Michael O’Connor (75’)
Red cards: 29. Jack Malone (39’)
Referee: Steven Gordon