Match report – 13/04/19 Lisburn Distillery 0 v Annagh United 0
Lisburn Distillery v Annagh United – 13/04/2019 (PIL)
It was the final game at New Grosvenor of the 2018/19 season for Lisburn Distillery on Saturday as we faced off with Annagh United for the second time this season, hoping for a repeat of the 2-1 win at Shamrock Park back in February.
The interim management team opted to make a number of changes to the team that had been thrashed 5-0 by Queens a week before with Jonah Nicholl returning in between the sticks in place of Paddy Saunders and Conor Curran and Nick Beta replaced Joe Reid and Daire Rooney respectively. Stuart Moore and Aaron Harris were also serving one game bans for picking up five yellow cards, their places were taken by Jonny McCaw and Stephen Curley respectively.
There was a cagey opening to the game but it was the Whites who eventually had the first effort on goal of note in the 11th minute when McCaw tried his luck from about 30 yards out but Shane McPartlan in the visitors goal pushed his effort behind and then claimed the resulting corner.
Distillery were on the attack again just over ten minutes later when a free-kick from McCaw almost caught McPartlan out but in the end went out for a corner. The United goalkeeper didn’t seem too sure of himself again from Paul Young’s delivery and after the ball bobbled around in the penalty box it came to Beta who headed goalwards but McPartlan somehow managed to prevent the ball from crossing the line.
Just before the half-hour mark the Whites could have been in trouble when a long throw from United was cleared second time round by Conor Curran, the referee being unmoved by appeals for a possible hand ball by the young defender and moments later the almost had the home side ahead. A free kick from the centre circle was pumped into the penalty box and McPartlan came out to claim but failed to do so with Beta getting to the ball first but watched as his header came back off the post, the Distillery striker then had a second bite at the cherry but from a tight angle his second shot was again denied by the post.
In the 42nd minute it was Annagh’s turn to be frustarted by the woodwork when Jonah Mitchell broke down the right and squared to Jordan Campbell but his first time strike struck the crossbar and was cleared behind for a corner by Curley. From the resulting corner Distillery had another let off when Curley was well placed to clear off the line from a looping header.
As the half-time whistle blew both teams will feel they had had chances to score but neither had found a way past McPartlan and Nicholl so far.
Lisburn Distillery 0-0 Annagh United
The first action of note in the second half was in the 52nd minute when Barry Moore and Niall Henderson were involved in an off the ball incident following an Annagh corner, in the end both parties were booked and play continued.
Like the first half, it was Distillery who started the better of the teams and had some periods of good football but weren’t really testing McPartlan in goal and it was Nicholl who was called into action in the 65th minute. A cross from the right was headed towards goal by substitute Brian McIlmurray but Nicholl managed to get something on the ball to keep it from crossing the line, the rebound then fell to Mitchell in the six yard box and with the whole goal to aim at most Whites fans had resigned themselves to going a goal down but somehow the Annagh player blazed over when it seemed easier to score.
Annagh, perhaps spurred on by the news that Queens were comfortably winning their game, seemed determined not to settle for a draw and the experienced John Convery was visibly disgusted when he missed the target with a free header from a set-piece and Nicholl pulled off another top save to tip a powerful McIlmurray shot over the bar.
In the last five minutes the Whites did manage to get forward and Rooney, who had replaced Beta earlier, won a free kick but McCaw’s strike hit the wall and was easily claimed by McPartlan. At the other end McIlmurray and Nicholl continued their personal dual as the Annagh attacker turned his defender in the box but couldn’t get the necessary power behind his effort to beat the keeper.
In the 89th minute Distillery looked to have finally found a way to win the game when the linesman flagged for a foul on Rooney by McPartlan inside the penalty area, the referee agreed with his assistant and pointed to the penalty spot. McCaw stepped up and sent his shot straight down the middle but the Annagh keeper wasn’t to be beaten and saved the spot kick with a trailing leg.
Annagh went close to a winner themselves in injury time when Nicholl first had to turn a Craig Taylor free kick behind and then United did have the ball in the net from a late corner but the referee ruled the goal out for a foul spotted somewhere in the box, meaning the match would end with no goals.
This was the first 0-0 draw in a Distillery match this season and we remain in 4th place, our next game is in two weeks when we travel to take on Sport and Leisure in the final game of the season.
Lisburn Distillery; Nicholl, Doyle, Curran, B. Moore, Curley, Wright, O’Hanlon, McCaw, Beta, Young, Harrison. Substitutes; Saunders, McCullough, Clarke, Reid, Rooney.
Report by Cameron Moore
David Hunter’s full picture from this game can be found on our Flickr page @ https://flic.kr/s/aHsmAtysvP