Portstewart v Lisburn Distillery (Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League) – Tuesday 26th April 2022
Lisburn Distillery made the long trip north to Portstewart for the second time in just over two weeks for the penultimate game of the season against Johnny Law’s side.
The Whites, playing in blue, made one chance to the side with James Morgan making his full debut for the club in place of Caoelain Young, who dropped to the bench.
The Whites had the first effort on goal in the 2nd minute when Stephen Sullivan tried his luck from inside the box but Andrew Findlay comfortably saved at his near post.
Two minutes later the home side threatened when a cross went across the face of goal with no one on hand to touch the ball in. Soon after Portstewart went closer with an effort from inside the six yard box but a combination of Jonah Nicholl and the post kept the ball out.
With just over 10 minutes played Nicholl was called upon again to keep The Seahawks out when he saved a free kick from 23 yards out low to his left.
The next Distillery effort of note came in the 27th minute when Findlay could not hold a Clarke free kick but Jordan Lucas could not get the ball under his control to score on the rebound and the danger was eventually cleared for a corner, which Joe Reid headed over the bar from.
The home side were the last to threaten during the first half when Nicholl held a goalbound free kick from 30 yards.
The Whites had not been without their opportunities in the opening 45 minutes, but it was Portstewart who had created the better chances.
Half-time: Portstewart 0-0 Lisburn Distillery
The Whites threatened early in the second half when some good build up play in the 47th minute ended with the ball coming to Morgan on the left but his effort on goal did not trouble Findlay.
From the following attack a Portstewart player went down in the box while challenging for the ball with a Whites defender and the referee pointed for what appeared to be a soft looking penalty. Nicholl however guessed right from the spot kick and tipped the ball onto the post to keep the game scoreless at this stage.
Distillery threatened with a free kick from 22 yards in the 55th minute but Findley was equal to it and in any case the ball looked to be curling wide.
The Whites survived another scare on the hour mark when a cross from the left was sliced into the air by a defender, with Nicholl stranded a Seahawks attacker headed goalward but Timmy Clarke blocked the ball on the line and cleared.
The opening goal came for the home side in the 65th minute when Zach Barr got on the end of a corner from the right and sent a looping header over everyone and into the net.
The Whites management team made a number of chancges to try and find a way back into the game but it was the home side who doubled their lead when Barr held off Christian Irvine and got a shot off on goal that slipped through Nicholl’s fingertips and nestled in the bottom corner of the goal with just over 15 minutes still to play.
Two minutes from time Barr completed his hat trick and made it 3-0 to Portstewart with a great strike that Nicholl could do little about.
A disappointing result for Distillery but one that ultimately the side could have few complaints about, just one more game left now at home to Tobermore on Tuesday night.
Full-time: Portstewart 3-0 Lisburn Distillery
Lisburn Distillery; Nicholl, Angus, Clarke, Moore, Reid, Higginson, O’Hanlon, Harris, Sullivan, Lucas, Young
Lisburn Distillery substitutes; Kenny, Irvine (for Moore, 67 mins), Edge, Brannigan (for Young, 67 mins), Conlon (for Sullivan, 72 mins), Young (for Lucas, 67 mins), Scott (for Higginson, 84 mins)