Carrick Rangers boss Gary Haveron ready for titanic test

Carrick boss Gary Haveron
Carrick boss Gary Haveron

Rookie Carrick Rangers manager Gary Haveron is anticipating an Irish Cup tie of titanic proportions against Ballyclare Comrades on Saturday afternoon.

Haveron steered Carrick to top spot in Championship 1 with Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Harland and Wolff Welders.

He is now hoping his players can carry that momentum into Saturday’s sixth round showdown with Ballyclare.

“It’s going to be an incredibly hard match for us,” he said.

“I’ve seen Ballyclare play three or four times at Dixon Park this season. It’s a real fortress for them, and it’s going to be a tough game. But I wouldn’t expect anything else from a team managed by Eddie Hill.

“They work very hard for each other and they are very committed and we are going to have to be at our best to try and get a result there.”

Just who will come out on top in tomorrow’s last-16 clash really is anyone’s guess.

Hill’s Reds boast a remarkable record at Dixon Park this season – they have lost just twice in 15 home games, and that was to Glentoran in the League Cup and then high-flying Bangor in the league.

Rangers, on the other hand, approach this encounter on the back of a marked upturn in form and in the knowledge they cantered to a 4-2 win when the two sides met at Taylor’s Avenue in August.

The Gers’ hero on that occasion was striker Richard Gibson who netted a hat-trick.

He believes that if Carrick can crack the Reds’ resistance – and the draw is kind to them - they could go as far as the last four.

“We’ll take it one game at a time; it’s going to be a tough match,” he said.

“But if we do win – and we get a decent draw – there’s no reason why we couldn’t get into the semi-finals.

“It’s not going to be an easy task. They have definitely picked up since we played them, but we will take it one stage at a time.”