IRISH LEAGUE: Gary Haveron confident Carrick can avoid drop

While Carrick Rangers manager Gary Haveron was bitterly disappointed not to have taken all three points from Saturday's basement clash at Warrenpoint, he feels his side have enough to haul themselves away from dangers in the final four games.

Warrenpoint's Mark Clarke given a red card for his foul on Carrick's Andy Doyle
Warrenpoint's Mark Clarke given a red card for his foul on Carrick's Andy Doyle

In a match where the visitors should have been home and hosed by the break, they failed to make the most of their dominance with the opening goal arriving on the hour when on-loan striker from Linfield Adam Salley finished.

That was shortly after Mark Clarke had been shown a second yellow card for Warrenpoint, but soon after Carrick’s Aaron Smyth followed suit and Town got back on terms nine minutes from time when Conor McDonald was upended by Conor McCloskey in the box and Stephen Murray converted the resultant penalty.

“We created all the clear cut chances. It’s really frustrating because there have been so many times this year where we’ve put ourselves in really good positions but we just haven’t put the ball in the back of the net as often as what we would have liked,” said Haveron.

“All these teams are down in the bottom half like us so they’re beatable. We’re not facing the Crues, Linfield, Cliftonville or Glenavon. Ballymena are bang in form, but Portadown or Ballinamallard aren’t setting the world alight. Nobody in the bottom four has so it’s just about who holds their nerve and takes their chances.

“I’m confident that we have enough about us, that if we keep sticking together and keep working for each other, that we will take our chances.”

Haveron was full of praise for Salley, who only turned 18 recently and whose all-round game cause Warrenpoint plenty of problems at the weekend.

“He’s got that big robust kind of style, which means he can bully people if he wants to, he’s quick and he puts himself in goalscoring positions,” Haveron added.

“I have said to him that the only thing missing from his all-round game is goals, but they’re starting to come. He has two in his last four and when they keep coming, he’ll probably get more of the attention that his all-round game deserves.”

Warrenpoint manager Barry Gray is well aware that things must improve from now until the end of the season if they are to have any chance of staying in the Premiership for a fourth consecutive season.

“It was a game where we should have been beaten, we got a point from, but we could have won,” he said.

“It’s a strange scenario. It was absolutely lacklustre in terms of performance from us, particularly in the first 45 minutes and probably the first 25 of the second half. We waited until it was practically too late to do anything and it’s been a trend of ours.”