Match report – Lisburn Distillery v Portstewart (Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League) – Saturday 27th August 2022
Lisburn Distillery v Portstewart (Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League) – Saturday 27th August 2022
Lisburn Distillery welcomed Portstewart, a side we had mixed fortunes against last season, to New Grosvenor on Saturday for our first home league game of the season.
The visitors had most of the ball in the opening minutes of the game and Eoghan Devine went close to opening the scoring but headed just wide from a free kick delivered from the left. After this the Whites slowly began to see more of the ball and get forward a few times but the closest they came to scoring in the opening 15 minutes of the game was a Dylan Sinnerton shot from outside the box that went off target.
The Whites survived a double scare on the 14-minute mark when Portstewart attacked through Joel Bradley on the right, but he first saw his cross blocked by Johnny Angus and seconds letter his shot was tipped around the post by goalkeeper Callum Rooney.
The Whites began to take control of the game after this and after 25 minutes Conall Murray had a shot blocked by a defender from a Sinnerton cross after good work from Justin Grattan and Lewis Higginson in the middle of the park set the Whites off on the attack. Four minutes later Higginson saw perhaps the best chance of the game so far go begging when the ball came to him after Jourdan Shearer had been brought down on the edge of the box, but no foul was given, the midfielder did the hard part skipping past a couple of opposition defenders to get into the box, but his final shot was straight at the visiting goalkeeper, Conor Henry.
The visitors did come close to threatening the Distillery goal in the 37th minute when a pass forward put Kori Doherty through on goal but fortunately a chasing Whites defender was able to do enough to stop the Seahawks player from getting a shot off and the ball ran through to Rooney.
In first half added time a great cross from Shearer looked set to fall well for Higginson but with the number seven all set to hopefully shoot the Whites into the lead, a defender got a crucial touch to take the ball away from him.
Half Time: Lisburn Distillery 0-0 Portstewart
Barry Johnston’s side started the second half brightly and in the 50th minute a promising move ended with first half substitute Carson Elliott cutting infield from the left and fizzing a cross over the crossbar. Three minutes later, Shearer was pulled up for what looked to be a tight offside decision and from the resultant free kick Portstewart were off on the attack and Rooney did well to tip the shot from close range on the left onto the post and out for a corner.
There was a nervy moment for the Whites just before the hour mark when a clearance from Rooney cannoned off a Portstewart player and the ball flew goalward but much to the relief of the ‘keeper went over the bar for a goal kick.
Perhaps the moment Distillery began to realise things were not going to go their way in front of goal came with 20 minutes left on the clock when substitute Caoelain Young did well to turn and get a shot off from outside the box, but his goal bound effort was blocked by teammate Shearer and the danger cleared.
The visitors ended the game strongly and Rooney and Angus were called into action to prevent them from taking the lead, Rooney in particular made two fine saves from point blank range to preserve his clean sheet.
The final whistle sounded and there were perhaps mixed feelings from Distillery towards the game, the Whites had played well for much of the game and a point gets them up and running in the league but there will be disappointment and frustration that they could not make one of their chances count.
Full Time: Lisburn Distillery 0-0 Portstewart
Lisburn Distillery; Rooney, Smyth, Murray, Morgan, Angus, Grattan, Higginson, Sinnerton, Shearer, Ballentine, Robinson
Lisburn Distillery substitutes; Elliott (for Murray, 35 mins), Fleming, Young (for Higginson, 65 mins), Warnock (for Smyth, 46 mins), Scott (for Grattan, 82 mins)
Match report by Cameron Moore @cameron2604
David Hunter’s picture gallery from this game is at https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjA4T7J