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Rock’s mettle is on display in first victory


Match-winner - Kizito Akwueme of Rock Celtic.

Match-winner - Kizito Akwueme of Rock Celtic.

Match-winner - Kizito Akwueme of Rock Celtic.





A CHANGED Rock - in both personnel and attitude - recorded a stirring away victory on Friday night as they responded in the manner that manager Shane O’Callaghan wanted after their disappointing defeat and performance against Quay the previous week.

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This was the Seasiders’ first win of the season and an important one for the confidence of the young team.

The all-important goal was scored by the returning striker Kizito Akwueme who, along with Melvin Onu, has signed for the Seasiders after a spell with Newry Town.

The matchwinner had replaced the injured Aaron Comerford after half an hour, and the visitors showed their resilience amid a spate of injuries during the match that resulted in both Ed Maguire (ribs) and Brendan Rogers (groin) also retiring at the break.

They were replaced by Jack Reid and Cillian Duffy in further enforced changes, having started with a line-up which saw John Rogers make a rare appearance in goal and Conor McGowan drafted into a new defensive unit, with Brendan Rogers coming into midfield as he and Comerford - both introduced in the Quay game - retained their places.

The whole team provided the reaction that was needed and outplayed the home side, with Onu superb at the back along with McGowan, and the outstanding Ronan Sands bossing the midfield where Rogers and Gareth Connolly ran the opposition ragged.

Carrick were restricted to just a lone scoring opportunity in the first half as Rock played all the football and created the bulk of the goal opportunities.

Apart from one sustained spell around the hour mark, Carrick didn’t exert a lot of pressure or pose much threat.

For Rock it was looking like all their good work might not yield a tangible reward. But after withstanding that bout of Carrick pressure, Barry O’Hare dropped into his own half, turned and slipped a pass through a gap in the home defence for Ekwuema who rounded the goalkeeper to slot the ball into the net.

Rock: John Rogers, Conor McGowan, Melvin Onu, Conor Soraghan, Ed Maguire ( Jack Reid ht), Oisin Meegan, Ronan Sands, Brendan Rogers (Cillian Duffy ht), Gareth Connolly, Aaron Comerford (Kizito Ekwueme 30), Barry O’Hare.