Match report PSNI v Lisburn Distillery (Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League) – Saturday 1st April 2023
It was a short journey for Lisburn Distillery to face PSNI on Saturday in our penultimate game before the league splits, a win in this game for the Whites would be crucial in securing a top six finish.
The Distillery management made a couple of changes to the team that lost 2-0 against Ballymacash the week before, Cieran Clougherty, Adam McCart and Michael Gallagher replaced Bobby Robinson, Odhran McCart and Jonathan Doyle in the starting lineup.
The visitors had a bright start to the game, Jourdan Shearer had the first shot of the game in the first minute but his effort from a Lewis Higginson lay off was blocked by a defender and with just over five minutes played the same player could not get anything on a Clougherty cross at the back post.
There was a nervy moment in the Distillery box after eight minutes when a cross appeared to be heading invitingly towards a PSNI attacker at the back post but Ethan Carry managed to get a hand to the ball to push it away.
A minute later the Whites took the lead, a free kick was won it on the left and as usual Josh Lynch stepped up, sending a curling cross into the box, which was flicked into his own goal by Ben Mitchell, giving Distillery a deserved lead.
With just less than 15 minutes played Jake Willis shot just over for Distillery after a long-range Lynch effort from a free kick was deflected into his path and after 19 minutes another cross into the Whites box flew across goal with no one able to get anything on it.
Distillery were guilty of taking their foot off the gas after taking the early lead and the home side equalised with 22 minutes on the clock, Louis Blackstock collected a pass from the left and played a quick one-two with a teammate before sidestepping a Whites defender and shooting into the top corner.
Distillery came close to regaining the lead in the 27th minute when Carter Savage headed goalwards from a corner, but Alistair McVeigh got his hands to the ball to keep it out and with five minutes remaining in the half Shearer saw a shot crash off the crossbar when Gallagher’s flicked headed from a free kick was cleared.
The home side had the last opportunity of the half when they countered after a Distillery attack broke down, but Lynch was able to clear the initial cross into the box and the follow up effort went wide.
So it was that the two sides went in level at the break and given the start they had to the half the Whites will have been disappointed to not be going in ahead.
Half Time: PSNI 1-1 Lisburn Distillery
There was a slow start to the second half and the first talking point of note was the second goal for Distillery in the 55th minute, which saw them regain the lead, a cross into the box was not fully cleared by the home side and Higginson headed goalwards, in an unfortunate moment for McVeigh the PSNI ‘keeper looked to have the ball covered but it slipped through his legs and into the goal.
PSNI thought they had an opportunity to equalise again two minutes after going behind when a Johnny Angus clearance deflected goalwards and put Billy Cassells through on goal but Carry blocked his shot, though the offside flag was already up.
The visitors doubled their lead with just over an hour played, a Higginson shot hit the underside of the bar but the rebound fell for Shearer who finished at the back post to make it 3-1 and soon after it was 4-1 when Gallagher was put through on goal, the strikers shot hit the onrushing McVeigh, flying up into the air, bouncing down over the line.
With just over 20 minutes remaining the Whites were forced into a reshuffle, Carry had to come off with a hand injury and Savage donned the gloves for the remainder of the game. This did not deter the Whites, who scored their fifth of the game in the 71st minute, Higginson rounding McVeigh and slotting home for his second of the day.
PSNI did pull a goal back in the 76th minute, Cassells scoring from the penalty spot after Angus fouled a player inside the box but in the end, Distillery got the job done and the victory coupled with Tobermore’s loss against Banbridge saw the side move back into the top half ahead of this Saturday’s away game against Moyola Park.
Full Time: PSNI 2-5 Lisburn Distillery
Lisburn Distillery; Carry, Willis, Clougherty, Angus, McCart, Lynch, Higginson, Newell, Gallagher, Shearer, Savage
Lisburn Distillery substitutions; McVarnock (for Clougherty, 53 mins), Robinson (for Higginson, 80 mins), Cope, Swann, Storey (for Shearer, 80 mins), McCart (for Carry, 70 mins), McCleave (for Gallagher, 80 mins)
Report by Cameron Moore (@cameron2604)
David Hunter’s picture gallery from this game can be found @ https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAycAk