CARRICK RANGERS 2 GLENAVON 2
Glenavon player-boss Gary Hamilton rescued a point for his side when he netted a stoppage-time leveller in a 2-2 draw against 10-man Carrick.
The experienced striker’s late goal was a sucker-punch for Carrick who had led twice in an entertaining game at Taylor’s Avenue.
Daniel Kelly’s first-half header had put Gary Haveron’s men in the driving seat at the break but the game really burst into life when Rhys Marshall levelled matters on 83 minutes.
The home side then had defender Andrew Doyle sent off for picking up two yellow cards before Miguel Chines scored what looked like the winning goal with three minutes on the clock.
That was until Eoin Bradley set up Hamilton who buried his chance to secure the draw.
Glenavon were very much the better of the two sides in the opening stages. Kevin Braniff went close when he stretched to get on the end of a Andy Hall’s cross before Joel Cooper clipped the crossbar.
The breakthrough came on 34 minutes when Glenavon’s defensive frailties from set-pieces were exposed as Kelly rose above everyone else to meet Chines’ corner. His header crept in despite Tuffey’s attempts to keep it out.
Eoin Bradley had the ball in the net early in the second half with a superbly executed back-heel, but it was ruled out for offside.
At the other end, Chines’ beautifully struck 25-yard free-kick had Tuffey at full stretch but the former Linfield man did enough to palm it wide.
Glenavon equalised on 83 minutes when Marshall swept home Kris Lindsay’s flick from close range.
Doyle was red-carded for a second bookable offence on 86 minutes when he needlessly sent Hamilton sprawling as Glenavon looked to break.
But Carrick hit back just three minutes from time when Chines netted with a looping header from a Gary Browne cross.
Hamilton had the final say when he hammered home from close range, gleefully getting on the end of Bradley’s right-wing cross.
Carrick Rangers: Neeson - Doyle, Kelly, Surgenor, Traynor - McCloskey (McCaul 89), Johnston, Cherry (Smyth 79), McNeill - Browne (Mackie 89), Chines. Subs not used: Smyth, Miskimmin, Kane, .
Glenavon: Tuffey, Marshall, Dillon, Lindsay, Neill - Hall, Kilmartin (Hamilton 67), Singleton, Cooper (Patton 82) - Bradley, Braniff. Subs not used: Kelly McGrory, O’Brien.
Referee: Andrew Davey (Bangor)