Carrick put one of the final nails in Coagh’s coffin of relegation after they slumped to a 1-0 nil defeat on Saturday.
Needing around 18 points from their last nine matches which must include a win away to Dergview and Lisburn Distillery.
The Hagan Park side have been left a mountain to climb after both Limavady and Dergview won at home to leave Coagh trailing five points behind Limavady.
Coagh have five matches in hand to Limavady and three to Dergview so Coagh’s only chance for survival is to get points on the board starting with an away match to HW Welders this Saturday.
The following Tuesday night Coagh travel to Dergview for that all important must win match. Coagh’s main problem in the run in is the amount of injuries that are piling up.
Mathew Young failed a fitness test before Saturday’s match, while Steven Lamont did not travel.
Marcus Dallas and Jason Gillespie are regulars to the treatment table while three other players are carrying knocks. This was noticeable on Saturday against Carrick as Coagh failed to get into any rhythm on a terrible surface at Inver Park Larne.
Larne had played Ballyclare less than 24 hours before Coagh’s match and coupled with high winds, left bad conditions for both sides.
This match was probably the most unexciting match I have watched in years in fact the only major excitement was when the linesman fell over in the second half.
After a cagey start from both sides, Coagh’s Craig Moore’s looping shot brought the first save out of Simon Steele. Neither side got into any rhythm with passing mistakes all over the park.
Carrick’s best chance of the half fell to Adam Dick on 26 minutes, Arthur supplied the cross but the number nine curled his shot wide of the post while at the other end Aaron Campbell blasted over after Bradley and Park had sent him clear.
Near the end of the half Hassan saved easily from Adam Dick, Jason Gillespie shot over and Aaron Campbell could have done better after he robbed McCloskey but shot over the bar as Steele advanced out of goal.
In the second half Coagh started all at sea, and it was not long before Carrick was ahead. Adam Dick did the spade work for Graham Arthur to score from close range. Both sides made changes but it was Coagh who were running the play with Moore and a snap shot from Steven Park bringing the best out of Simon Steele.
Lady luck again eluded Coagh on 80 minutes. A blatant hand ball in the box was totally missed or ignored by the officials after a Carrack defender had both hands on the ball while on the ground. This summed up Coagh’s day as Carrick ran to the corners and wasted as much time as possible to hold on for the win.
This Saturday Coagh travel to HW Welders for a 3pm start. The following Tuesday 25th March, Coagh travel to Dergview for a 7.45pm kick off.
Carrick: Simon Steele, Aaron Smyth, Aidan O’Kane, Carrion Donaghy, Ryan McCann, Aaron Harmon, Conor McCluskey, Adam Dick, Graham Arthur, David Bell, Daniel Kelly, Jody Lynch, Ian West,
Coagh: William Hassan, Scott McGeown, James Ferguson, (Aaron Thornton) David Calderwood, Stephen Glasgow, Steven Park, Marcus Dallas, Joel Bradley, (Mathew Kempton), Aaron Campbell,(Steven Glasgow) Jason Gillespie, Craig Moore. Mathew Young.
Referee- Ken Gibbions, Carrickfergus. Assistants- Ken Ross and John Greatly.
The Reserve match was called off last weekend. This weekend they play Newry at Coagh Sports Centre 2.15pm.