Irish Premiership: Cliftonville 1-0 Carrick Rangers

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Cliftonville captain George McMullan

George McMullan's second-half strike gave Cliftonville victory over Carrick at Solitude as the Reds made it four wins from four Irish Premiership games.

The hosts edged affairs in a lacklustre first half with James Knowles skimming the Rangers bar from a free-kick.

Reds striker Jay Donnelly saw his shot blocked on the line before skipper McMullan fired into the bottom corner with 17 minutes left.

Carrick's Kyle Cherry headed against the woodwork from a late free-kick.

The win leaves the north Belfast side trailing early pacesetters Linfield on goal difference.

Cliftonville found it difficult to break down a resolute Carrick defence, while the top-flight new boys also carved out openings.

Their best first-half opportunity saw Conor McCloskey's shot blocked with Gary Browne volleying the rebound high into the stands.

The second-half started at the higher tempo although it needed a classy goal from McMullan to separate the sides.

Knowles controlled Martin Donnelly's cross before laying the ball into the path of McMullan, who rifled it into the Rangers net.

Carrick had a late penalty shout turned down and the protests led to Rangers boss Gary Haveron being sent-off.

Cherry headed onto a post from an injury-time free-kick as the Reds held on for the three points.

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