Despite dominating possession and carving out a host of opportunities, Cliftonville were forced to settle for a point from a frustrating clash with Carrick Rangers at Solitude tonight. Jude Winchester had a hat-trick of first-half chances, while Davy McDaid, James Knowles and Jay Donnelly all went close on a night when visiting keeper Brian Neeson perfrormed heroics to earn his side a battling Danske Bank Premiership draw. The deadlock was almost broken on 13 minutes when, after being teed up by Stephen Garrett, Winchester bought himself some space but sent his shot just wide of the mark. Soon later, the same player directly a half-volley straight into Neeson's grasp and, after being denied by the keeper again on 20 minutes, looked on as Knowles sent his follow-up curling inches past the post. Neeson came to Carrick's rescue again when an error from Nathan Hanley offered McDaid a free sight of goal but the keeper got down well to turn the ball behind. A Knowles corner saw Jason McGuinness head straight at the visiting stopper, who was called into action early in the second-half to deal with a McDaid snapshot. Just before the hour, McDaid scaled the crossbar after being fed by Knowles and, when Neeson dropped a high ball into the area, Jay Donnelly's hopes of capitalising were thwarted by Mark Surgenor's clearance off the line. McDaid's curling free-kick was then tipped away by the keeper and, in the closing minutes, Garrett saw a close-range strike deflected behind in a crowded penalty area and, from the resulting corner, the ball dropped inside the six-yard box and rolled across the face of goal before being blasted to safety. Donnelly headed a Tomas Cosgrove cross into the roof of the net and, in injury-time, McDaid's drive straight into Neeson's grasp was the Reds' final chance of a hugely frustrating night.
Cliftonville 0-0 Carrick Rangers
Date Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Competition Danske Bank Premiership
Venue Solitude, Belfast
12. 2. 3. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 17. 18. 23.
Peter Burke Jaimie McGovern Levi Ives Jason McGuinness Chris Curran James Knowles Davy McDaid Stephen Garrett Ryan Catney Jude Winchester Tomas Cosgrove
1. 11. 21. 22. 25.
Jason Mooney Martin Donnelly Jay Donnelly Ross Lavery Aaron Donnelly