Match report – Armagh City v Lisburn Distillery (Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League) – Saturday 18th March 2023
After a week off Lisburn Distillery returned to competitive action on Saturday with a trip to Holm Park to face Shea Campbell’s Armagh City side.
The Whites went into this game as one of the form teams in the division and with hopes of pushing into the top half of the table, City on the other hand were still looking for their first league win of 2023 and in fact have not picked up three points in a game since the two sides met at New Grosvenor in November.
Adam McCart and Jourdan Shearer were serving suspensions due to yellow cards accumulated so Barry Johnston was forced into two changes, with Jonny Angus and Lewis Higginson starting.
The home side had the first sight of goal after five minutes when a quick free kick put Stefan Lavery through with only Ethan Carry to beat but the Distillery goalkeeper was able to block the shot. Three minutes later up the other end Jonathan Doyle tried his luck from range after beating a defender, but his deflected shot was easily gathered by Conner Byrne and with ten minutes on the clock, Carry was called into action again to save a 25-yard free kick from James Convie.
Both sides continued to have half chances on goal but it was Armagh who had perhaps the best chance of the half so far after 32 minutes when Lavery escaped his marker from a free kick and met the ball at the back post but his header was straight at Carry.
It looked like it was going to take something remarkable to break the deadlock and it came for the home side with eight minutes of the half remaining, the ball came to James McCormack who let fly with a long range effort that went right into the top left hand corner and gave Carry no chance.
A minute after going behind the Whites were on the attack and appealed for a penalty when Josh Lynch went down in the box but the referee was not convinced and in the aftermath of this Higginson shot wide of the post.
The first half ended with McCormack’s wonder goal the difference between the sides and if the Whites were to get anything from this game and keep top six hopes alive there would need to be an improvement after the break.
Half-Time: Armagh City 1-0 Lisburn Distillery
Distillery had the first effort on goal after the break in the 51st minute, Bobby Robinson had a go from range but Byrne pushed the effort behind for a corner, which he then claimed.
It was only two minutes later though that the score was levelled, the Whites won a throw in down the right and following this a nice free flowing move ended with Lynch shooting past Byrne from close range.
Armagh were almost ahead again a minute after Distillery equalised when a cross from the right looked like it might curl in but Carry got his hands to the ball and pushed the danger away.
After this, there were few real chances for either side to score but it was Distillery who took the lead with just less than 20 minutes remaining. Jonathan Doyle tried his luck with a long range effort and Byrne was able to get his fingertips to it but only managed to push the ball over the line, a touch of fortune to put the Whites ahead but one they will be more than happy to take.
Armagh pushed for an equaliser in the final 18 minutes but could not really test Carry and in fact in the final ten minutes Robinson and substitute Pearse McVarnock had chances to extend the Distillery lead, but the former shot off target and the latter was denied by Byrne.
The final whistle sounded making it five games unbeaten for Johnston’s side and results elsewhere meant the Whites moved into the top half of the table into 6th spot, leapfrogging Dollingstown and Tobermore and sitting two points behind Moyola in 5th.
Full Time: Armagh City 1-2 Lisburn Distillery
Lisburn Distillery; Carry, Willis, Robinson, Angus, McCart, Lynch, Higginson, Newell, Gallagher, Doyle, Savage
Lisburn Distillery substitutions; Nelson, Clougherty, Shannon, Swann (for Higginson, 79 mins), Storey (for Doyle, 83 mins), McVarnock (for Gallagher, 61 mins), McCleave
Match report by Cameron Moore (@cameron2604)
David Hunter’s picture gallery from this game can be found @ https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAwnh9