IRISH LEAGUE: Carrick Rangers cruise past Ards

Ards manager Colin Nixon. Pic by INPHO.
Ards manager Colin Nixon. Pic by INPHO.

Carrick Rangers ended their run of 17 games without a competitive win with a stunning demolition of Ards at the Bangor Fuels Arena.

David McAlinden’s men recorded a 4-0 win with goals from Jonathan Smith, Paddy McNally, Lee Chapman and Eamon Scannell - giving Carrick their first league win since September.

Carrick Rangers manager David McAlinden.

Carrick Rangers manager David McAlinden.

Carrick gained the lead in the eighth minute of the game when Ards failed to deal with a long free-kick into the Ards area.

Centre-back Damien McNulty knocked the ball down for Smith.

The Linfield-bound centre-forward turned on the ball fired past goalkeeper Sam Johnston.

It was a tidy goal that involved two of David McAlinden’s January signings.

Carrick grabbed their second goal off the game three minutes after the break when Ards failed to deal with a corner-kick.

Paddy McNally kept his composure to smash the ball into the net from close range.

It was 3-0 in the 55th minute.

The Ards defence once again failed to deal with a cross, and Lee Chapman on hand to fire beyond Johnston following another McNulty header.

It was a thunderbolt his namesake would have been proud of.

The lively Eamon Scannell completed the scoring a fine a header from a Chapman cross.

At the full-time whistle, there were long overdue celebrations in the away end, with the long-suffering Amber Army rightly enjoying every second of their success.

Ards fans, on the other hand, had long headed for home.

Rangers welcome Glentoran to the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena on Tuesday (7.45) for the first of four successive home fixtures.

The Carrick boss will be hoping for continued momentum off the Ards win when Carrick tackle the Glens, Warrenpoint Town, Glenavon and Dungannon Swifts.

Ards return to the Bangor Fuels Arena on Tuesday (7.45) to take on Glenavon - ahead of games against Glentoran, Linfield and Ballymena United - aiming for a return to form following three consecutive defeats across league and cup.

Ards: Johnston; Glendinning, Byers, Taylor, Neale, Tommons, J.Kelly, Hanley (Davidson, 58), McAllister, Mitchell (McKenna, 58), Stewart (Keke, 58).

Subs (Not Used): L.Kelly, McAleenan.

Carrick Rangers: Doherty, Larmour, McNally, McNulty, Edgar, Scannell (Nimick, 78), Kottoy (Mooney, 80), Surgenor, Chapman, Henderson (Glackin, 82), Smith

Subs (Not Used): Anau, Taggart.

Referee: T.Marshall.