Lisburn Distillery v Dollingstown (Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League) – Saturday 29th April 2023
Lisburn Distillery hosted Dollingstown at New Grosvenor on Saturday for the last home game of the 2022/2023 season.
Barry Johnston made three changes from the midweek win against Banbridge; Cieran Clougherty, Odhran McCart and Jonathan Newell made way for Bobby Robinson, Carter Savage and Lewis Higginson.
The visitors took the lead after just eight minutes, Dale Malone converted from the penalty spot after the referee awarded a dubious looking penalty after a Distillery defender blocked the ball following an effort outside the box. Not only was there a question mark over whether a foul had occurred, but the incident appeared to have taken place outside the penalty area.
After this there were few real chances for either side, Dollingstown perhaps having most of the ball, but Rhys Clougherty in the Whites goal was largely untested with the only effort of note being a long range strike from former Distillery player David McCullough, which went wide of the ‘keepers right hand post.
Johnston’s side did get themselves level in the last five minutes of the first half when the referee awarded the second penalty of the game when a Dollingstown defender handled the ball inside the area. Michael Gallagher stepped up and kept a cool head to score past Gareth Buchanan to level things up as the sides went into the interval.
Half Time: Lisburn Distillery 1-1 Dollingstown
Distillery started the second half on top in terms of possession but much like the visitors in the opening 45 they did not really trouble Buchanan in goal. Up the other end Dollingstown did manage to get the ball into the Whites box from a few set pieces, but the defence dealt with these comfortably enough.
The third goal of the game did come in the 66th minute and to the delight of the home support it went the way of Distillery. A Robinson cross from the left into the middle was only partially cleared by a defender and Josh Lynch’s shot was saved but not held by Buchanan and Jourdan Shearer was on hand to finally get the ball home. There was a question mark as to whether the number 10 was offside and players and supporters alike looked to the lineman, but he kept his flag down and the Whites could celebrate taking the lead.
Dollingstown went as close as they had to scoring since the opening goal in the 71st minute when Cameron Purdy met a corner from the right, but his header went just over the bar.
Distillery were able to put the game to bed with 15 minutes left on the clock, Gallagher saw his initial effort from inside the box well saved by Buchanan but the ‘keeper could do nothing as the number nine lashed him the rebound to score his second and the home sides third goal of the game.
In the remaining 15 minutes of the game substitute Brendan Shannon forced a good save from Buchanan to prevent the Whites from adding to their lead and Clougherty had to be alert at the other end to block an effort following a cross into the box.
Johnston used the closing moments of the game to hand some players their Distillery debuts with Ethan Johnson, Callum McComb and Lennox Young all making brief appearances.
The referee finally blew for full time on what was a game that will not live long in the memory, but Distillery were able to get the job down and secure three points, which also means the team will finish the 2022/2023 season in 7th place, regardless of what happens against PSNI on Tuesday night.
Full Time: Lisburn Distillery 3-1 Dollingstown
Lisburn Distillery; R. Clougherty, Willis, Robinson, Angus, A. McCart, Lynch, Higginson, Gallagher, Shearer, Doyle, Savage
Lisburn Distillery substitutions; Shannon (for Shearer, 77 mins), Hewitt, McComb (for Angus, 87 mins), Johnson (for Lynch, 87 mins), Story (for Doyle, 77 mins), Young (for Higginson, 89 mins), Johnston
Report by Cameron Moore (@cameron2604)
David Hunter’s picture gallery on this game can be found @ https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAC1ae