Match report – Limavady United v Lisburn Distillery (Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League) – Saturday 7th January 2023
Lisburn Distillery made the journey north on Saturday to face Paul Owens’ Limavady side for the first time this season, hoping to kick start the season after a number of postponements before Christmas and a 5-0 defeat against Bangor to start 2023.
Brandon Breen, Carter Savage and Michael Gallagher came into the starting line-up to make their debuts with Aaron Smyth and Jourdan Shearer dropping out of the starting eleven.
Limavady enjoyed the most of the ball early on and had the first sight of goal after six minutes when the ball was headed forward from midfield and controlled by their attacker but his attempted lob over Ethan Carry was comfortably held by the Whites stopper.
Four minutes later Conall Murray fizzed a dangerous looking cross into the United box but unfortunately it was just out of Stephen Wilson’s reach at the back post and the ball went out for a goal kick.
After this, there were no real sights on goal for a while for either side, though the home side continued to control most of the possession and Carry was called into action to save two efforts from range, one from open play and one from a free kick.
The deadlock was broken just before the 30-minute mark and perhaps not surprising, though maybe somewhat fortuitously; it went the way of The Roesiders. Ryan Doherty went down in the box under pressure from the Whites defence and although it looked a little soft the referee pointed to the penalty spot and Alex Pomeroy stepped up to send Carry the wrong way.
After going behind there was an improvement from Barry Johnston’s side, in as much as we began to see more of the ball but besides a tame Lewis Higginson effort from the edge of the box that was easily saved by Paul Wells there was very little to show for it.
There was one moment of promise for Distillery just before the break when Murray played the ball forward and Higginson flicked it onwards to Pearse McVarnock but just before the number ten could bring the ball under control to shoot an opposition defender recovered to clear the danger.
When the half-time whistle sounded United went into the changing room holding a deserved 1-0 lead, the final 15 minutes of the half offered a ray of hope for the Distillery faithful but an improvement would be needed after the break to get anything from the game.
Half Time: Limavady United 1-0 Lisburn Distillery
After the break there continued to be a notable improvement from Distillery, seeing more of the ball and being able to play in the opposition half more. However, Wells in goals for United continued to be untested and it was Carry who had to be on hand to parry a shot away from goal before Adam McCart came in to fully clear the danger.
Johnston introduced more attacking options in the shape of Jourdan Shearer and Matthew Swann but the way to goal continued to be denied by the stern home defence.
Limavady were denied by the woodwork just before the hour mark when Carry seemed to be caught off guard with a shot from range that struck his right hand post, United looked set to double their lead from the rebound but the Distillery stopper recovered to make a fine save from point blank range.
Five minutes later Limavady went close again from a corner when a header just cleared the bar and landed on the roof of the Distillery net and with just less than 20 minutes remaining Carry was called into action again when he spread himself to deny Doherty who was clean through on goal.
There was a rare venture into the Limavady box for Distillery when a great ball into the box from the right was cleared just before Higginson could get anything on it and McVarnock and Josh Lynch saw their shots blocked by defenders.
Unfortunately, Owens’ side did double their lead with just over ten minutes remaining when a cross from the right found Doherty at the back post and he easily converted and at this stage it was game over for Johnston’s side really.
The home side added a third goal in the 84th minute when Pomeroy found himself clean through on goal but selflessly squared to recently introduced substitute Caleb Wan to put the final nail in the Whites coffin.
Another defeat for the New Grosvenor men in the end and in truth the side got what they deserved from the game given that the only save they forced the Limavady ‘keeper into making was the first half Higginson effort. The games are coming thick and fast at the minute and next up is another away game against Dollingstown on Tuesday night.
Full Time: Limavady United 3-0 Lisburn Distillery
Lisburn Distillery; Carry, Breen, A. McCart, O. McCart, Murray, Lynch, Higginson, Wilson, Savage, McVarnock, Gallagher
Lisburn Distillery substitutes; Angus, Shearer (for Breen, 54 mins), Patton, McComb, Young (for McVarnock, 79 mins), Swann (for Wilson, 54 mins), Elliott
Report by Cameron Moore (@cameron2604)
Picture gallery from this game by David Hunter available to view @ https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAnzSQ