Moyola Park v Lisburn Distillery (Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League) – Saturday 8th April 2023
Lisburn Distillery journeyed to Coleraine to take on Moyola Park at The Coleraine Showgrounds, Mill Meadow being unavailable due to ongoing work with the pitch.
A win for the Whites would secure a top six finish, any other result and it would depend how things went at Fortwilliam Park were Tobermore and Dollingstown faced off.
Barry Johnston returned to the dugout after being away last week and made some changes to the side, Callum Rooney started in goals in place of the injured Ethan Carry, Pearse McVarnock replaced Bobby Robinson who dropped to the bench and Odhran McCart replaced his namesake Adam in the starting eleven.
Moyola had the first chance of the game in the 2nd minute when Johnny Angus could not bring a McVarnock throw in under control and was dispossessed but fortunately the attacker dragged his final effort wide of Rooney’s right-hand post.
After this there were few real chances for either side until the 21st minute when Michael Gallagher turned and shot just inside the Moyola box, but his effort was easily gathered by Andrew Findlay and three minutes later the same player forced another save from the home ‘keeper at his near post after his attempted cut back to Jonathan Newell was sent back into his path by a defender.
Just before the half hour mark Moyola came the closest either side had come to opening the scoring when Rooney could not claim a cross, but Ian Parkhill’s effort was cleared off the line by Angus.
Parkhill went close gain with 37 minutes on the clock, but this time was denied by the leg of Rooney. The Moyola number nine was not to be kept out for long though and gave the home side the lead in the 43rd minute with a great strike into the top corner that gave Rooney no chance.
The half time whistle soon blew with the Whites behind; they had seen plenty of the ball in the first half, but it would have to be said Moyola had had the better chances. At Fortwilliam Park at this stage it was still 0-0 between Tobermore and Dollingstown so as it stood Distillery would still make it into the top half of the split.
Half Time: Moyola Park 1-0 Lisburn Distillery
Distillery started the second again with plenty of the ball and had the first real sight of goal in the 51st minute when a promising Josh Lynch free kick towards the back post was punched away by Chris Getty, who had replaced Findlay at the break, but only as far as Jourdan Shearer but he could not keep his effort down.
Shearer was involved again in the 56th minute when he headed just over from a McVarnock cross, though the Whites players were convinced Getty had got a touch and it should have been a Distillery corner.
Distillery had a golden chance to get back on level terms just after the hour mark when the ball came to Lewis Higginson inside the box after Moyola could not clear the danger, but the midfielder sent his effort straight at Getty.
A few minutes later up the other end Samuel McIlveen tried his luck from range for Moyola, but Rooney was comfortably equal to his effort.
Shearer had another good chance with just over 20 minutes left but again he headed over from a Lynch corner when the ball found him unmarked.
Johnston made some chances throughout the half to try and get back into the game but most of these changes did not make much of an impact and it looked like the game was going to peter out as it currently stood.
The Whites did get the ball in the net from a corner in the 76th minute but the linesman’s flag was raised and at the other end with less than five minutes to go Rooney had to be alert to block a shot following a Moyola breakaway.
Lynch had one final effort on goal for Distillery in the last minute of the game but his free kick from 30 yards dipped too late and landed on the roof of the net.
In the end the referee called time on a frustrating day for the Whites, seeing them lose 1-0 against Moyola. Confirmation eventually came through that Tobermore had beaten Dollingstown 2-1, meaning that despite the players best efforts since January we would be competing in the bottom half of the split, with those fixtures still to be confirmed.
Full Time: Moyola Park 1-0 Lisburn Distillery
Lisburn Distillery; Rooney, Willis, Angus, O. McCart, Lynch, Higginson, Newell, Gallagher, Shearer, McVarnock, Savage
Lisburn Distillery substitutions; Clougherty, Doyle (for McVarnock, 60 mins), Shannon, Robinson (for Higginson, 60 mins), Storey (for Shearer, 70 mins), Johnston, Warnock (for Gallagher, 82 mins)
Match report by Cameron Moore (@cameron2604)
David Hunter’s picture gallery from this game can be found @ https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAzaFu