Match Report 01/05/18 Lisburn Distillery 1 v Queens 2
With only two games in the regular season remaining before kick off in this one and the Whites trailing their opponents by five points they went into this game knowing that only a win would do if they were to make their way into the play off positions this season.
And indeed the hosts almost got their quest off to a perfect start when McMurtry found himself well placed with only three minutes gone when the ball fell kindly to him only for his goalbound effort to be well saved by visiting ‘keeper Declan Brown.
This early effort buoyed the Whites on as they tried to force the play but Queens to their credit defended well limiting Distillery to a few skyward efforts and then with only 2 minutes left before the break the breakthrough came but sadly for Distillery it was they who conceded. Great individual play by Queens Matthew Hughes saw him cut inside the Distillery defence before coolly picking his spot and placing the ball into the corner past the outstretched hands of Whites ‘keeper Jonah Nicholl.
The sense of pre-game optimism slowly started to drain away and when a defensive mix up at the start of the second half allowed the same player Hughes to score his second of the game to make it 2-0 to Queens the Whites seemed dead and buried.
But then, on 61 minutes, a lifeline emerged as Whites forward Mikey Withers produced a sublime piece of skill taking on and beating four Queens defenders before calmly slotting home. All of a sudden it was game on and suddenly it was as if someone had just flicked the on switch for Distillery as they burst into life. Chances came and went but as the game wore on you just knew it wasn’t going to be Distillery’s night. Paul Young hit the crossbar with a delightful chip on 75 minutes, a well struck shot by Alan McMurtry on 78 minutes was parried by Brown, a Gary Workman effort fizzed narrowly wide on 88 minutes and then the woodwork was rattled again by Matthew Ferguson as the game entered injury time.
Eventually the final whistle sounded and despite the Whites throwing everything at Queens the breakthrough simply wouldn’t come and with that Distillery’s chances for making the promotion play off for this season ended but not without a fight.
For Queens it’s on now on to take on Dergview over two legs for a place in next seasons Championship, for the Whites it’s time to recharge the batteries and get ready to go again when the new season starts in August.
Report by Colin Hopkins
LDFC Team: Nicholl, Corry, Moore, Reid, Wright, Hislop, Withers, McMurtry, Harris, Ferguson, Beta subs Saunders (not used), Curley (not used), Clarke (replaced Harris 80), Workman (replaced Reid 71), Young (replaced Beta 75)
David Hunter’s full picture gallery from the game can be found @ https://flic.kr/s/aHsmheN7RZ