Darren Murray (09)
Darren Murray (61)
Philip Lowry (68)


Darren Murray celebrates his second goal (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)


Darren Murray helped himself to a double on his Crusaders debut as Stephen Baxter's side opened up a three point gap at the top of the table.

Crusaders needed just nine minutes to seize the advantage when Murray, on his debut, tucked the ball away via a deflection after Philip Lowry sent a pass across the area.

The wintery conditions made attacking football difficult although the visitors did have a chance to double their advantage during the first half only for Carrick 'keeper Harry Doherty to deny Billy Joe Burns from point blank range.

The Crues did add to their lead just after the hour when Murray doubled his tally from two yards out after Doherty parried the ball into his path.

Then, on 68 minutes, Lowry made it 3-0 after skipping past a couple of defenders to beat Doherty with an excellent finish.

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Carrick Rangers: Doherty, Larmour, Edgar, McNulty, McNally, Chapman, Morrow, Kottoy, Scannell, Henderson, J. Smith subs Surgenor (replaced Morrow 43), Taggart (not used), M. Smith (not used), Anau (replaced Scannell 70), Mooney (replaced Chapman 85)

Crusaders: Jensen, Burns, Beverland, Coates, Ward, Lowry, Murray, Forsythe, Owens, Heatley, Whyte subs O'Neill (not used), Cushley (replaced Murray 75), McClean (replaced Beverland 77), Snoddy (replaced Lowry 70), Bonner (not used)

Referee: Shane Andrews

Attendance: 480

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Tags:  Carrick Rangers  Crusaders