Match Report – LDFC 1 v Armagh City 0
Lisburn Distillery v Armagh City (Premier Intermediate League) – Saturday 27th November 2021
It was a return to league action on Saturday for Lisburn Distillery as we welcomed Shea Campbell’s Armagh City side to New Grosvenor.
Johnny Clapham made no changes to the starting eleven that beat Donegal Celtic in the Intermediate Cup the week before but Paul Young, Mikey Withers and Neil Dillon returned to the squad, starting on the bench.
The first effort on goal came for the home side in the 2nd minute when a City defender slipped chasing the ball down just inside the penalty area, Mick O’Hanlon pounced on the loose ball and turned inside to fire off a shot goal but saw it come back off the post and away to safety.
Two minutes later at the other end Timmy Clarke attempted to get forward down the left for the Whites but saw the ball bounce off an opponent’s legs and suddenly put Distillery on the defensive. In an attempt to clear the danger Clarke scooped the ball infield towards Christian Irvine but the centre-backs first touch was poor and the ball bounced towards goal with Irvine and an Armagh attacker in pursuit, fortunately as the two tangled for the loose ball the referee decided the Whites defender had been fouled and awarded a free-kick.
After this, there was little action to note, both sides tried their luck from range through Andrew Wilson and Stephen Sullivan respectively but neither effort troubled the goalkeepers. There was another nervy moment for Whites supporters in the 29th minute when a long ball forward put Conor Mullen through with only Jonah Nicholl to beat but thankfully, Clarke managed to recover and shepherd the ball back to the goalkeeper.
In the 31st minute Johnny McCaw did well to win the ball in the middle of the park for Distillery and a pass to his right released Caoelain Young down the right but the strikers final shot was straight at Conner Byrne. Nick Napier had been in acres of space down the left and perhaps a cross to the back post would have been a better option.
This was really the last talking point of note in the first half and the game was scoreless when the referee called time on the first half.
Half-time: Lisburn Distillery 0-0 Armagh City
The visitors started the second half brightly and in the 48th minute they looked to capitalise when a poor pass from Aaron Harris set them off on the attack but Barry Moore fouled the City player and picked up a yellow card for his troubles.
Two minutes later and a great chance for Armagh went begging when Shea Geraghty found Wilson with a cross to the back post but the winger could not get his shot on target.
Campbell’s men would live to regret this chance as the Whites finally broke the deadlock in the 59th minute, a fine pass from midfield found Caoelain Young in the right channel but his first effort on goal was saved by Byrne and the second was cleared off the line by a defender. Another City defender managed to clear the ball but only as far as Napier who volleyed an effort into the back of the net to open the scoring.
For the next period of time it looked more likely that Clapham’s side would double their lead and just after the hour mark O’Hanlon saw an effort tipped over the bar by Byrne and from the resulting corner Irvine, who following his earlier error had been superb throughout, had his header cleared off the line.
Caoelain Young scooped an effort over the bar when he perhaps should have done better and following a fine run down the right Joe Reid could only find the side netting. In between these chances, Neill Kerr saw his cross-cum-shot flash across goal at the other end after Mullen forced the ball his way following a free-kick.
There was a huge talking point in the 73rd minute when Napier played the ball into space from the right hand side and Withers managed to beat the on rushing Byrne to the ball and score what most people thought to be the second goal of the game. However, much to the fury of the Distillery players and management the referee had already blown his whistle to award the Whites a free-kick for an earlier foul.
As expected City put the Whites under plenty of pressure in the closing minutes of the game but the home defence stood strong and after what seemed like an eternity, the referee eventually blew his whistle to end the game.
The result makes it two wins and two clean sheets on the bounce in the league for the New Grosvenor men and moves the side up to 7th in the table.
Full-time: Lisburn Distillery 1-0 Armagh City
Lisburn Distillery; Nicholl, Reid, Clarke, Irvine, Moore, Napier, O’Hanlon, Harris ©, Sullivan, McCaw, C. Young
Lisburn Distillery substitutes; Bell, P. Young (for O’Hanlon, 82 mins), Brannigan, Withers (for McCaw, 36 mins), McAuley, Higginson, Dillon (for C. Young, 75 mins)