Banbridge Town v Lisburn Distillery (Premier Intermediate League) – 9th October 2021
Lisburn Distillery travelled to Crystal Park on Saturday to play Banbridge Town in just our third league game of the 2021/2022 season, a place that has not been a happy hunting ground for the Whites in recent seasons, but they did come out 3-0 winners on our last visit in an Intermediate Cup tie.
There were two changes from the previous weeks Steel & Sons Cup fixture against Ballymena United Reserves, Neil Dillon and Stephen Sullivan started in place of Joe Reid and Caoelain Young, with the latter starting the game on the bench.
The Whites had a couple of early sights at goal but an Aaron Harris free-kick from a promising position came to nothing and Lewis Higginson dragged his shot from range wide of goal. Banbridge then had a great chance to take the lead in the 9th minute when Stephen McCavitt managed to beat the offside trap and found himself clean through on goal but could not hit the target with his final effort.
In the 13th minute the visitors had another opportunity to get men forward with another free-kick in a similar area as before, Harris again delivered and the ball was cleared but only as far as Chris Getty who forced the ball goalward where it was flicked on by Nick Napier but he could only watch as the ball came back off the crossbar. The ball found its way to Getty again who decided to try his luck but Lewis Hunter, in goal for the home side, was equal to it and as it turned out the referee had already blown for a Banbridge free-kick.
Johnny Clapham’s side were seeing more of the ball but struggled to impose much of a threat, there were further efforts on goal from Harris and Mick O’Hanlon but these were again saved by Hunter.
The Whites would regret not making their possession count for more as it was Frankie Wilson’s side who took the lead right on half-time when another ball over the top saw Reece Doyle go clean through this time and unlike his teammate, Doyle made no mistake as he coolly slotted the ball past Jonah Nicholl and into the net.
Half-time: Banbridge Town 1-0 Lisburn Distillery
The early part of the second half saw the hosts much more on the front foot than in the opening 45 minutes and indeed Whites keeper Jonah Nicoll was forced into action early in the second period having to produce a fine reflex save to keep the hosts from adding a second on 48 minutes
That said it was to only be a short stay of execution for the Whites as Banbridge’s efforts were duly rewarded when, on 64 minutes, Andrew Martin hammered home an unstoppable strike from distance to leave Distillery reeling.
After this the Whites did their utmost to lift things but time after time they were thwarted by a resolute Banbridge defence with chances for the visitors being few and far between.
Distillery did think they might have been given a lifeline on 82 minutes when Jonny McCaw went down in the box after a late tackle but the referee was having none of it and waved play on and with that went Distillery chance’s of taking anything from one.
A disappointing performance from Distillery then on the day and one from which they will need to bounce back quickly
FULL TIME BANBRIDGE TOWN 2 V LISBURN DISTILLERY 0
Lisburn Distillery; Nicholl, Dillon, Clarke, Irvine, Getty, Higginson, O’Hanlon, Harris ©, Sullivan, P. Young, Napier
Lisburn Distillery substitutes; Pollock, McCaw (for P. Young, 65 mins), Moore, Weir (for Higginson, 46 mins), Grattan, C. Young (for Sullivan, 80 mins)