SWIFTS CLAIM THE POINTS AT THE LOUGHSHORE HOTEL ARENA
Dungannon Swifts withstood a late charge to claim all three points from this visit to face Carrick Rangers at the Loughshore Hotel Arena.
Carrick thought they had opened the scoring with just under a quarter-of-an-hour on the clock but Alex Gawne's 'goal' was ruled out for offside in the build up.
Dungannon moved in front themselves on 17 minutes through skipper Douglas Wilson after he rose highest to nod home Caolan McAleer's corner despite William Faulkner's best efforts at a goalline clearance.
Rangers might have levelled just after the half-hour mark after Reece Neale's corner reached Lloyd Anderson at the back post but the ball was gratefully gathered by Sam Johnston in the crowded goalmouth.
Perhaps the pivotal moment in the game came a couple of minutes into the second half when Carrick were reduced to ten men following Chris Rodgers' dismissal for a second yellow card following a challenge of Rhyss Campbell.
And Campbell duly punished Niall Currie's side ten minutes later with a close range finish to double Dungannon's lead after Daniel Hughes had done well to tee him up.
Then, later in the second period, Shane McGinty cut inside on the edge of the area to test Harry Doherty with a curling effort but the Carrick keeper proved equal to the challenge.
The home side were thrown a lifeline on 74 minutes, however, when Swifts defender Dylan King was punished for handball with Caolan Loughran stepping up to clinically convert from the spot.
Indeed, Carrick might have snatched a point right at the end when, following a period of pressure, Kyle Cherry produced the best from Johnston with a stinging effort from inside the area.
Carrick Rangers: Doherty, Carson, Neale, Surgenor, Rodgers, Loughran, Faulkner, Kelly, Smith, Cherry, Gawne subs Nicholl (not used), Magill (not used), Hassin (not used), Reynolds (replaced Smith 64), Colligan (replaced Neale 64), Dunne (not used), Anderson (replaced Kelly 9)
Dungannon Swifts: Johnston, Redman, Wilson, King, Hughes, Smyth, Carvill, Coyle, McAleer, Campbell, McGinty subs Byrne (not used), Patton (replaced McAleer 66), McGuinness (not used), Waide (not used), Devlin (replaced McGinty 86), Brennan (not used), Keke (not used)