Match Report 11/01/20 – Lisburn Distillery 1 v Annagh Utd 5
Lisburn Distillery 1 v Annagh United 5
Premier Intermediate League (PIL) 11th January 2020
The last time Lisburn Distillery were in league action was over a month ago when a Kevin Braniff brace secured three points against Limavady United. On Saturday the Whites took on an Annagh United side that had dropped points only once in the league all season.
Manager Stephen Hatfield made three changes from the side that took on Kilmore in the Intermediate Cup last time out, with Barry Moore coming in for the suspended Timmy Clarke and Daire Rooney and Gerard McAlea starting instead of Mikey Withers and Stephen Curley who dropped to the bench.
The visitors got the game started and were on the attack from the off via Craig Taylor down the left hand side, the Annagh wingers cross was not fully cleared by the Whites defence and this allowed United to apply some early pressure but ‘keeper Jonah Nicholl wasn’t tested and the ball eventually went out for a goal kick.
In the 3rd minute Distillery had their first opportunity to attack the visiting goal when Michael O’Hanlon played the ball from right to left, finding Paul Young. Young was able to play the ball into Rooney but United were able to clear the danger and set off on a dangerous looking counter attack but fortunately Mark Stewart was alert to the danger and the ball was cleared.
Annagh had a glorious chance to take the lead in the 5th minute after Nicholl left his line but failed to claim the ball and with the goal at his mercy Taylor was unable to hit the target, the players disgust with his effort was clear for all to see.
The Whites did get a sniff on goal in the 9th minute when Young won a corner after a superb ball played into him by James Wright but unfortunately Rooney’s header on goal was headed clear by an opposing defender. Wright and Rooney were involved again a few minutes later when great player from the former saw him engineer some space to play in the latter but the danger was cleared and the visitors set off on another counter attack that ended with Chris Getty conceding a free kick and Taylor clipping the top of the Distillery bar.
The opening 30 minutes of the game saw United with most of possession but neither keeper had really been tested, the opening goal of the game did come though in the 30th minute when Nedas Maciulaitis, who had returned to Annagh on loan from Coleraine earlier in the week, scored following a Taylor throw in to give the visitors the lead and just two minutes later Taylor doubled the lead himself with a cracking strike from outside the box that gave Nicholl no chance.
In what was an action packed few minutes Rooney managed to pull a goal back in the 35th minute when he timed his rub perfectly to pick up a pass from Young, beating the offside trap and finishing past Eoin Hughes to keep the Whites in the tie at the break but a top effort would be required from the side to ensure anything would be got from the game.
Half-time: Lisburn Distillery 1-2 Annagh United
Distillery came out for the second half with what looked to be some intent but despite seeing more of the ball and applying some pressure to the United defence in the early stages, Hughes in goal was untested until the 52nd minute when substitute Mikey Withers pulled the ball back to O’Hanlon but Hughes saved the effort on goal with ease.
Goal number three for Annagh came just a few minutes later when Maciulatis helped himself to his second goal of the game when he danced through the Whites defence and fired a shot into the left hand side of Nicholl’s goal despite the ‘keeper being able to get a hand to it.
The third goal seemed to kill the Whites off and if truth be told if anyone looked like adding to their tally it was the visitors and they had opportunities to do so via Scott McCordick who blazed over and Maciulaitis who was denied by a good tackle from Stewart after he looked to be clean through.
The fourth goal did come from Maciulaitis who completed his hat-trick following a mazy run through the Distillery half from McCordick.
Withers had a rare effort on goal for the home side with ten minutes to go but couldn’t find the target and the game was finished four minutes later when McCordick got the goal his performance deserved, Maciulaitis will no doubt get all the plaudits but the Annagh number ten’s workrate throughout the game was impressive.
There was one final effort from Rooney to pull a goal back for Hatfield’s side in injury time but once again his effort did little to trouble Hughes and when the final whistle blew it was a relief to the Distillery team and supporters.
We now dust ourselves down and get ready for next week’s Intermediate Cup 3rd round game, away to Banbridge Town.
Report by Cameron Moore
Lisburn Distillery; Nicholl, Long, Moore, McAlea, Stewart, Getty, O’Hanlon, Harris, D. Rooney, Young, Wright. Substitutes; McIlhone, Withers (for McAlea, 45+3), Irvine, Curley, M. Rooney (for Young, 67).
David Hunter’s picture gallery from this game can be found at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmKJpaqY