Match Report – 12/02/19 Annagh Utd 1 v Lisburn Distillery 2
Annagh United 1 v Lisburn Distillery 2 (Premier Intermediate League)
Tuesday 12th February 2019
Lisburn Distillery made the trip to Shamrock Park on Tuesday night for a rare midweek fixture in the Premier Intermediate League (PIL).
In terms of the team lineup with three games in seven days Colin McIlwaine opted to make a number of chances, some of which were enforced, with Josh Doyle, Stephen Curley, Barry Moore, Daire Rooney and Matthew Swann making way for Michael O’Hanlon, Joe Reid, Timmy Clarke, Nick Beta and Paul Young.
It was the Whites who had the first sight on goal of the game in the 4th minute when Jonathan McCaw was fouled 25 yards out, Nick Beta took the free-kick and it deflected off the wall and appeared to be dropping in but Shane McPartian got across to push the ball over for a corner that came to nothing.
The Whites started the game brightly playing some nice football and in the 13th minute an Aaron Harris free kick was not fully cleared by the Annagh defence and when the ball was hooked back into the area Beta managed to flick the ball out of reach of McPartian towards Conor Curran who tried his luck but missed the target. Just when everyone was expecting a goal kick but the referee had spotted an infringement in the penalty area and duly pointed to the penalty spot to the surprise of everyone. Up stepped James Wright who kept a cool head and fired the ball low to McPartian’s right to give Distillery the lead.
The Whites continued to control proceedings but asides from the penalty and that early Beta free-kick they had imposed little danger on the Annagh goal and came close to conceding an equaliser in the 30th minute. Annagh had the ball down the right hand side with Jonah Mitchell whose cross into the Distillery penalty area took a slight deflection that may have done just enough to mean front man Brian McIlmurray couldn’t make a clean connection and his shot went wide of Jonah Nicholl’s post.
Distillery had a chance to extend their lead further in the 39th minute when former Linfield and Northern Ireland international Michael Gault was adjudged to have handled inside the penalty area but this time Wright hit the crossbar with his spot kick.
On the stroke of half-time the tide swung further in Distillery’s favor when Gault was given his marching orders following an aerial collision with a Whites player that earned him a second yellow, his first having come from his protests following the second penalty.
Half-Time: Annagh United 0 Lisburn Distillery 1
If the Whites were to have any chance of holding on for three points they would need to make their extra man count in the second half, something they had failed to do on more than one occasion this season. They clearly decided that attack was the best form of defense and could have scored in the first minute of the second half but Wright couldn’t connect correctly with Young’s right hand cross.
In the 48th minute Distillery’s Paul Young and Jonny McCaw both found themselves in space down the right but both seemed to wait for the other to take the shot and in the end possession was lost but quickly won back by Young who played McCaw in one on one but McPartian spread himself and denied the January Player of the Month for Distillery.
Young then had two further chances around the hour mark, firstly when he shrugged off the attentions of an opposition defender but couldn’t beat McPartian and the ‘Annagh keeper came out on top again when a superb touch from McCaw put Young through one on one again. Between these chances Nicholl in the opposite goal had to be alert to hold a Scott McCordick overhead kick from a corner.
In the 74th minute Distillery introduced Mikey Withers and Daire Rooney in place of Young and Beta and the new front pair linked up almost immediately but the move was ended with a free kick in favor of the home side. In the 77th minute Withers collected the ball from a throw in down the right hand side and turned his defender inside out before crossing to Rooney but the recent signing couldn’t keep his shot down, the Whites had certainly had their chances to put the game to bed.
In the 83rd Distillery hearts were in mouths when firstly a Craig Taylor cross flew across Nicholl’s goal but fortunately no one was on hand for Annagh to convert and then Nicholl could only hold a long range shot at the second attempt.
The Whites did get their second goal when Withers tried to win the ball in the air but collided with an opposition defender but Rooney was alert to the situation and pounced on the loose ball and raced through one on one before coolly slotting the ball past the oncoming McPartian.
A late goal from substitute John Uprichard from a corner made it 2-1 and set up a nervy finish but the goal came just that little bit too late for Annagh and the Whites held on for a valuable three points.
A great and deserved win on the road for McIlwaine’s men but a win that perhaps makes last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Armagh all the more frustrating. Next up, a trip to Tobermore on Saturday.
Report by Cameron Moore
Distillery line-up: Nicholl, O’Hanlon, Curran, S Moore, Reid, Wright, McCaw, Harris, Young, Clarke, Beta
Subs: Saunders, Swann (for McCaw), Rooney (for Beta), McCullough, Withers (for Young)
David Hunter’s full picture gallery from this game can be found @ https://flic.kr/s/aHsm9GfnWr