Match Report – 05/03/22 Armagh City 3 Lisburn Distillery 0
No change at the top after this one as the Whites were brushed aside following a strong second-half performance from league leaders Armagh City.
The home side started off strongly, plenty of possession but didn’t really trouble Distillery keeper Jonah Nicholl much at that stage. Things began to unravel for the visitors just eleven minutes in when Ryan Jackson limped off to be replaced by Scott Brannigan; the latter lasted twenty minutes before going off injured and young Conan McAuley came on. A third change had to be made in the second-half with Mikey Withers also injured. The Whites were down to ten men for a period of around five minutes after that with debutant Jonathan Angus (replacing the injured Neil Dillon in the starting line-up) needing treatment for a blood injury.
Ultimately though, disruptive as the injuries and changes were, Armagh were simply the stronger side on the day.
Fifteen minutes in Timmy Clarke sent Brendan Bennett down the left wing but Caolon Conlon couldn’t connect with the cross. At this stage the game opened up more – a lob forward saw Conor Mullen get an effort on target but Nicholl was comfortable with the save. It was Mullen who posed the main threat for City at that stage; he had a goal disallowed for offside (38 minutes) and on 45+6 minutes he should have opened the scoring but volleyed over from close range. In between time Marc McConnell was off target with two efforts on goal.
On 49 minutes Mullen had a low shot gathered by Nicholl who launched a quick counter-attack and Mikey Withers forced Conner Byrne into a good save at his near post.
McConnell went close again for the home side before Padraig Judge outjumped everyone to head home a corner on 57 minutes. You sensed a goal had been coming, and just four minutes later Ruari Duffy netted a cross from the right.
The final goal came on 71 minutes, substitute Stefan Lavery netting another low cross from close range.
Mullen had two more chances but hit a post and was denied by Nicholl. Distillery might have netted a consolation goal five minutes from time when Conlon broke through on the right but fired wide.
With the top four all winning, the good news is that it as you were for the teams from fifth place to eighth place in the league, three points between them and all to play for to make the top six.
Next Saturday, the Whites travel to Limavady for an Intermediate Cup Quarter-final tie against Limavady United.
Armagh City: Byrne, Geraghty, King, Judge, Wilson (Clarke 65), Mullen, Corrigan, Duffy (Wright 76), McCormack (Lavery 65), Carlin, McConnell (McGibbon 81). Unused subs – Addis, Quinn, McEneaney.
Lisburn Distillery: Nicholl, Angus, Clarke, Irvine, Reid, Jackson (Brannigan 12 (McAuley 32)), Sullivan, Harris, Conlon, Withers (Lucas 54), Bennett. Unused subs – Kenny, Young, Grattan, Edge.
Referee – Ryan Hanna
Match report © David Hunter