Lisburn Distillery v Banbridge Town (Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League) – Tuesday 25th April 2023
Lisburn Distillery welcomed Banbridge Town to New Grosvenor for their penultimate home game of the 2022/2023 season.
Barry Johnston made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Portstewart on Saturday, Rhys Clougherty replaced Callum Rooney in goals, making his debut for the Whites, and Cieran Clougherty replaced Bobby Robinson in the starting eleven.
Distillery went on the attack early in the game and in the second minute a Michael Gallagher header from a Jake Willis cross clipped the Banbridge post, but the offside flag had been raised anyway.
With ten minutes on the clock an Odhran McCart header from a Josh Lynch free kick dropped just wide of the visiting goalkeepers left hand post and three minutes later at the other end Rhys Clougherty parried Ryan Gourley’s effort from inside the box and held onto the follow up effort.
With just under 15 minutes played the Whites took the lead in the game thanks to a well taken lobbed effort from Jourdan Shearer that went over Joshua Hannon and dropped over the goal line.
After this, things quietened for a while, both teams enjoyed good spells of possession but there were few clear-cut chances for either side. Michael McCavitt had a great chance to equalise for Banbridge in the 27th minute but he blazed his effort from about nine yards out well over the bar and in second half injury time Jonathan Newell had an equally good chance to double the Whites lead but he headed a Jonathan Doyle cross over.
Half time came with the Whites leading 1-0 through Shearer’s goal and overall, it was perhaps a deserved lead, but the game was certainly by no means over.
Half Time: Lisburn Distillery 1-0 Banbridge Town
It did not take long for the home side to double their lead after the break, two minutes into the second half a corner from Lynch was flicked on by Adam McCart, Doyle managed to keep the ball in play and sent the ball back into the danger area were Odhran McCart hammered it into the back of the net.
Three minutes later, Distillery had another sight of goal when good perseverance from Gallagher saw him when possession off a defender in the final third but his effort on goal was well saved by Hannon.
The Whites threatened the Banbridge goal further either side of the hour mark, firstly Lynch shot just wide after Gallagher controlled a Doyle cross and laid it off to him and then a Cieran Clougherty cross from the left almost looked like going in, but Hannon was able to hold the ball on the line.
Having been in control for much of the game the Whites took their foot off the gas slightly and the visitors pulled a goal back with 20 minutes to go, a good strike from substitute Reece Doyle from out on the right beat Rhys Clougherty.
For a brief moment in the 73rd minute Banbridge thought they had equalised when the ball ended up in the back of the Whites net but fortunately the referee had already blown for a Distillery free kick.
With just less than ten minutes remaining the home side should have put the game to bed, substitute Kian Storey sent a dangerous ball across the Banbridge goal, but Gallagher could not get anything on it to divert the ball across the line.
There was a nervy moment for the Whites in the 89th minute when a cross from the right took a slight deflection off a defender and fell to a Banbridge player inside the box but he sliced his effort off target.
The Whites ultimately managed to see out the closing moments of the game to pick up three points, meaning that the only side the Whites have not taken any points off this season is league champions Bangor, and we now look forward to the final home game of the season against Dollingstown.
Full Time: Lisburn Distillery 2-1 Banbridge Town
Lisburn Distillery; R. Clougherty, Willis, C. Clougherty, Angus, A. McCart, Lynch, Newell, Gallagher, Shearer, Doyle, O. McCart
Lisburn Distillery substitutions; Hewitt, Higginson (for Shearer, 58 mins), Savage (for O. McCart, 71 mins), Robinson, Storey (for Doyle, 66 mins), McCleave, McComb
Report by Cameron Moore (@cameron2604)
David Hunter’s picture gallery from this game https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjABrRe