Boss Gary Haveron praises Carrick Rangers performance

Carrick Rangers celebrate Daniel Kelly's opening goal against Crusaders
Carrick Rangers celebrate Daniel Kelly's opening goal against Crusaders

Carrick Rangers manager Gary Haveron says his side deserved to emerge 4-3 victors from Tuesday's dramatic league game with Crusaders at Taylor's Avenue.

The result moves Carrick up to 10th place in the table and blows the Premiership title race wide open again.

"It's a massive three points for us, but only if we kick on from this.

"Nobody expected us to get anything out of the game but we stood up and fought for everything and the goals we scored were absolute quality," said Haveron.

"We have to be clever in recovering between now and Saturday. We'll try and go into the Glentoran game in the best shape we possibly can."

Salley starred for Carrick

The Carrick boss singled out on-loan Linfield player Adam Salley for special praise after the game and admitted that a melee late in the game, which saw Haveron and Crues midfielder Josh Robinson sent-off, marred an otherwise successful night.

"Adam ran all over the place - he has been absolutely fantastic since he came on loan from Linfield. This goal caps the performances he has been putting in.

"The end soured things a little bit. Years ago a player would have got away with a tackle like that but when you go off the ground with your studs showing. even if you get a little bit of the ball, it is reckless.

"There was a bit of a melee but certainly no punches thrown. I'm not sure what the referee sent me off for but hopefully they will take a a look at it and review it."

Crues boss silent on melee

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter preferred not to comment on the melee in the dying minutes but lamented that his side "did not do what they were meant to do" as they saw their lead at the top of the table reduced to five points.

"One or two of our players had an off night. You can't leave yourself vulnerable at the back the way we did - we made terrible mistakes to allow them to score their goals.

"We threw ourselves at it trying to pull it back and gave it our all but it was not good enough on the night. Carrick worked incredibly hard, threw themselves at every single ball and ran out worthy winners.

"For our part, we have to move on quickly and we have another game on Saturday to look ahead to."