Portstewart v Lisburn Distillery – Premier Intermediate League 22/04/23
For their penultimate away game of the 2022-23 season Lisburn Distillery made the long journey to Portstewart for the first time since their victory there in January kick started an end of season revival.
The long journey seemed to take its toll on the Whites as they took their time settling into this one and indeed only poor finishing after a fine run by the hosts Ryan Campbell stopped them going behind on only four minutes.
After this the Whites slowly settled into the game and indeed came closest to taking the lead on 14 minutes when a free kick which had been floated in by Josh Lynch was eventually met by a powerful goal bound volley by Jordan Shearer from only 6 yards out but somehow the home keeper Conor Henry blocked it with this body to prevent a certain goal.
Portstewart’s Glenn Law then had a glorious chance on 26 minutes when he beat the Distillery offside trap but his effort went sailing over the crossbar however only two minutes later the same player made no mistake. The ball broke to Law on the edge of the Distillery penalty area and he duly blasted an absolute thunderbolt right into the top corner of the Distillery goal leaving Whites ‘keeper Callum Rooney with no chance of keeping it out.
Half time came and with the Whites 0-1 behind there were no doubt strong words issued in the away changing room and, although we will never know what was said, they definitely had the desired effect as within a minute so the restart the Whites were level . The impressive Shearer drove a strong cross into the box, the hosts Lee Forgrave failed to clear his lines and Distillery’s no 9 Mick Gallagher was on hand to drive the ball home from 8 yards out.
This goal seemed to lift the Whites and it was they who went on to control the second half of play creating a number of chances the first of which fell on 53 minutes to that man Shearer who made a fantastic run leaving Forgrave for dead with his pace before driving a powerful shot which went narrowly wide of the post.
After that the Whites created a number of half chances to take the lead but all their pressing forward in search of a winner almost led to their downfall on 73 minutes when substitute Luke McConnell used his pace to beat the Distillery defence and only a great save from Rooney prevented him giving Portstewart the lead.
More half chances came the way of the visitors however ultimately they couldn’t take them even with the dismissal of Portstewart’s Taylor McBride on 90 minutes for a second yellow issued for time wasting.
All in all then a positive performance once again from Distillery although they will look back and think this could easily have been three points instead of one.
FULL TIME: PORTSTEWART 1 V LISBURN DISTILLERY 1
Distillery line-up: Rooney, Willis, Robinson, Angus, A.McCart, Lynch, O.McCart, Newell, Gallagher, Shearer, Doyle
Subs: Clougherty (for Robinson) , Storey, Shannon (for Doyle) , McCleave, B.Johnston, E.Johnson, Swann
David Hunter’s full picture gallery from this game can be found @ https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAAU3U