Lisburn Distillery v Banbridge Town (Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League) – Saturday 3rd December 2022
After an extended break, Lisburn Distillery returned to action on Saturday, taking on Banbridge on home soil in an important game towards the bottom end of the table.
Barry Johnston made a few changes from the side that had faced Armagh three weeks before, Bobby Robinson was suspended following his red card in that game so Aaron Smyth returned to the starting line-up. Also making way were Jack Patton, James Morgan and Justin Grattan, who were replaced in the starting eleven by Johnny Angus, Josh Lynch and Jourdan Shearer.
We did not have long to wait for the opening goal of the game, which arrived after just two minutes and unfortunately went the way of the visitors. Odhran McCart, under pressure from an attacker, tried to head the ball back to Ethan Carry but the ball ended up going out for a corner, though there was a question as to whether there had been a push on the Whites defender as he attempted to play the ball back to the goalkeeper. A Banbridge player met the corner but Smyth cleared his goal bound header off the line, unfortunately, the rebound fell for Christopher McMahon who made no mistake with the rebound while the home defence remained static.
The home side actually responded quite well to going a goal behind and managed to win a few corners in succession and forced a good save from Lewis Hunter in the Banbridge goal. Lynch and Shearer also had opportunities on goal in the opening ten minutes but neither were able to find the target.
Despite this, it became 2-0 to Banbridge after 13 minutes when Conall Murray conceded a penalty and Stephen McCavitt made no mistake from the spot.
The Whites continued to control most of the proceedings and after 17 minutes, Matthew Swann got on the end of a great ball from Lynch and seemed to have a clear shot at goal from inside the six-yard box but the striker just seemed to miscontrol the ball at the crucial moment and a defender cleared the danger. A minute later Carry was called into action to deny Niall Cassidy who had managed to beat the Whites offside trap.
With just under 25 minutes played Swann had another sight on goal for Distillery when he controlled a good pass from Murray but while his shot beat Hunter it trickled agonisingly wide of the Town ‘keepers right hand post.
Despite the scoreline, there was perhaps a feeling that if the Whites could get on the scoresheet before the break they could still salvage something from this game. However, that task became that little bit hard in the 27th minute when McCavitt rounded Carry and shot into the back of the net for his second and Banbridge’s third goal of the game.
In the closing 15 minutes of the half, Johnston’s men had opportunities to reduce the deficit but continued to be denied by Hunter and went in three goals down at the break. A big second half would be required if the Whites were to get something from the game.
Half Time: Lisburn Distillery 0-3 Banbridge Town
The home side had the first sight of goal after the break when Ethan Warnock got on the end of a cross and flicked the ball goal wards but Hunter was able to push the ball behind for a corner, which came to nothing.
Just after the hour mark, Lewis Higginson had a shot on goal after some good build up from Distillery but the ball took a slight deflection and went behind for another corner. A few minutes later the same player turned a Banbridge defender but could not get a shot off and the ball ended up going behind for a goal kick.
Distillery continued to try to push for some way to reduce the deficit and perhaps could have had a penalty of their own in the 71st minute when substitute Justin Grattan seemed to be brought down by a defender when he looked set to shot after breaking into the box but the referee simply motioned for him to get up.
The Distillery management made some further changes but it made little difference and eventually the referee brought an end to what had been a frustrating day for the team. Perhaps some more clinical finishing and better defending at crucial times could have seen a different outcome but we now move on to a crucial game this Saturday at home to PSNI.
Full Time: Lisburn Distillery 0-3 Banbridge Town
Lisburn Distillery; Carry, Smyth, Murray, McCart, Angus, Sinnerton, Higginson, Lynch, Warnock, Shearer, Swann
Lisburn Distillery substitutions; Elliott (for Smyth, 78 mins), Grattan (for Warnock, 54 mins), Patton, Fleming, Smith, Young (for Swann, 78 mins), Morgan (for Shearer, 89 mins)
Match report by Cameron Moore @cameron2604
David Hunter’s Picture gallery from this game is available to view @ https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAi8KE