Irish Premiership: Carrick Rangers manager Stuart King praises 'outstanding' David Cushley

David Cushley (left) celebrates with Carrick Rangers team-mates after scoring a last-gasp winner from the penalty spot
David Cushley (left) celebrates with Carrick Rangers team-mates after scoring a last-gasp winner from the penalty spot

Carrick Rangers manager Stuart King has praised captain David Cushley after the midfielder fired home a late penalty to secure a 2-1 win over Dungannon Swifts.

The midfielder scored from the spot in added time after Kyle Cherry had been fouled inside the area.

"It was a definite penalty and there's no better man I want to step up than David Cushley," said King post-match.

"He has been outstanding since he came to this football club and he's got the armband for a reason."

"He's scored a lot of goals for us from midfield and he's a leader in the changing room," added King of the 34-year-old former Ballymena United, Lisburn Distillery and Crusaders player.

"He buried it and we got a great three points."

Carrick dominated the majority of the game at Taylors Avenue on Friday night, with the Swifts having goalkeeper Niall Morgan to thank for keeping them in the game with a number of fine saves.

Caolan Marron diverted Kurtis Forsythe's cross into his own net to give Carrick a 16th-minute lead, before Dungannon levelled when Joe Moore rifled an effort into the bottom corner.

"I thought we started the game outstanding and I was disappointed we didn't capitalise on more opportunities," reflected King.

"We got hit with a sucker punch but we regrouped at half-time and second half I thought we were outstanding again.

"I thought Niall [Morgan] was man of the match by a clean mile. I thought he was top drawer and he makes a massive difference to them. If I'm Rodney I'm tying him down big style."

'We have to go away and reflect'

King's opposite number Rodney McAree lamented that he was "disappointed with his team's effort, desire and commitment".

The defeat leaves the Stangmore Park outfit still searching for a first league win of the campaign, having picked up just two points from their first six Premiership outings.

"We've done really well in four games against so-called 'top six' teams, we've shown fight and desire and hunger to try and get something out of those games," reflected McAree.

"We've played two games, one against Loughgall and one against Carrick, and we've shown a weakness to be honest.

"We haven't done enough. We have deserved to lose the game. We could have lost by a much bigger margin.

"We are very fortunate to have Niall Morgan, who has made good save after good save. Carrick thoroughly deserved their three points.

"Everyone in the changing room, players and staff, needs to realise we need to do more, we need to do better, if we are going to get any points."

"We haven't worked hard enough. You have to win the battle and work at least as hard as the opposition, we didn't do that and we haven't won the battle.

"The team that won the battle won the game and we have to go away and reflect."