STRUGGLING Carrick Rangers gave their survival ambitions a huge shot in the arm with this defeat of Portadown at Seaview.
Although still propping up the rest of the table the three points gained from this unexpected victory have closed the gap on the sides immediately in front of them.
Shane Dolan fired Rangers into the lead on 35 minutes when he converted from the spot following a Brian Gartland challenge on Paul Heatley.
Ian West, a replacement for Heatley, doubled Carrick's advantage seven minutes into the second half with a header from a well delivered Marcus Kane cross.
Portadown pulled a goal back on the hour through Garry Breen following a well worked free-kick by Gartland and Jamie Tomelty.
But any hopes the Ports had of crafting a comeback were thwarted 11 minutes later when David Bell hammered home a superbly executed 25-yard half volley to secure the points for Michael Hughes' men.
Carrick Rangers: Murphy, Murray, Lagan, Byrne, Bell, Taggart, Heatley, Hutchinson, Hyland, Kane, Dolan subs Brennan (not used), West (replaced Heatley 35), McDowell (not used), Addis (replaced Kane 90+1), Deans (replaced Hutchinson 68)
Portadown: Miskelly, Mackle, Ramsey, Breen, Clarke, Tipton, Tomelty, Burns, Gartland, Lecky, Gilmore subs Murphy (not used), Acheson (not used), McKinney (replaced Gilmore 46), Brown (not used), Lyness (not used)
- Jamie Tomelty shields the ball from Thomas Hyland (Picture: Russell Pritchard/PressEye.com)