Match Report – LDFC 2 v Dollingstown 3 05/02/22
Lisburn Distillery v Dollingstown (Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League) – 5th February 2022
Lisburn Distillery faced Dollingstown in the league on Saturday hoping to make it five wins in a row.
The management team made two changes to the side that beat Bangor 1-0 the previous week; Caolan Conlon made his full debut and Brendan Bennett his debut in place of Mikey Withers and Conan McAuley.
The visitors looked dangerous from the start having the first effort on goal in the 2nd minute with a shot that was deflected behind for a corner and when the ball was delivered into the box a header made its way goalwards but fortunately hit the bar and went out for a goal kick.
After this shaky start, the Whites did manage to get the ball into the danger area a couple of times but these amounted to nothing. Firstly in the 7th minute Bennett hit a dangerous looking cross towards Conlon at the backpost but the new recruit could not get his header goalwards and then a few minutes later Timmy Clarke tried his luck from range following a throw in but ‘keeper Gareth Buchanan was equal to it.
The visitors looked dangerous anytime they went forward and Jonah Nicholl was called into action after 13 minutes to save an effort from point blank range with his legs and a minute later a Mark McCabe shot from range whistled just over the bar.
The opening goal came in the 18th minute when Oisin Barr was able to take advantage of some sloppy Distillery play in the final third and slot past Nicholl. At this stage it would have to be said that Dollingstown were good value for their lead.
After going behind Distillery began to press for an equaliser and on separate occasions Bennett and Conlon were almost put through on goal but Buchanan was alert to the danger and managed to beat them to the ball on both occasions.
With 10 minutes left of the half Distillery hearts were in mouths when a corner slipped through Nicholl’s fingertips but fortunately the defence were on hand to block any efforts on goal and the Whites stopper finally gathered the loose ball. A minute later at the other end some good play by Bennett ended with him squaring to Conlon in the penalty box but the tame final effort was easily held by Buchanan.
While Distillery had begun to play some football in the opposition half after going behind they had not really come close to causing Buchanan in goal much trouble so it was to the surprise of most people in the ground when they equalised with five minutes left before the break. O’Hanlon played a good pass infield to Bennett and the debutant sent the ball goalwards first time with the outside of his boot past the onrushing ‘keeper and into the back of the net to level things up.
The visitors continued to threaten though and the last noteworthy action of the half was Nicholl having to be alert to save a low shot low to his right in the 43rd minute. From the resulting corner the ball ping-ponged around the box before going out for a goal kick.
In the end, the Whites were perhaps more than a little relieved to be going in level at the break but were hopefully in position to kick on in the second half.
Half-time: Lisburn Distillery 1-1 Dollingstown
The home side did start the second half better than they did the first and in the 49th minute O’Hanlon sent a curling shot from the edge of the box just over the bar and five minutes later a deep cross from Clarke towards the same player was just inches too high.
With just over ten minutes played in the second half Dollingstown regained the lead when one pass forwards seemed to take out the entire Whites rear-guard and left Glenn Hand with only Nicholl to beat, the visiting captain making no mistake.
The New Grosvenor men were not behind for long though as they set off on the attack straight from kick off and when a goalward shot was blocked by a visiting defender the ball fell nicely to Bennett who smashed the ball into the net to score the second goal of his debut and equalise for Distillery again.
With just less than 20 minutes left on the clock a long ball forward put a Whites player one on one with Buchanan for the third time during the afternoon but this time a heavy touch from O’Hanlon ended with the ball running into the ‘keepers hands.
In the 78th minute the moment Distillery would live to regret came when a long ball forward was again directed towards O’Hanlon, this time the on form Whites man left ball knowing he was in an offside position but Stephen Sullivan was able to collect the ball and set off towards goal with O’Hanlon following close behind. Sullivan was forced slightly wide of goal so crossed towards O’Hanlon who had continued his run into the six-yard box but again the ball could not find its mark, a low cross may have been the better option. Unfortunately, to the disappointment of the Whites the loose ball was collected by a Dollingstown defender who set his team off on the attack and the move ended with Barr scoring his second goal of the game and putting the visitors in the lead for the third time in the game.
The last ten minutes passed without much incident, in the 81st minute Bennett, O’Hanlon and Sullivan linked up well with the latter trying his luck on goal but not finding the target and then a few minutes later Nicholl made a good save from a Dollingstown free kick.
Unfortunately, there was to be no late drama in this game with the visitors closing their lead out well and leaving with the three points and ending the Whites recent winning streak. Positives were a debut brace from new signing Bennett and hopefully he and his teammates will have a better outcome this weekend when we make the trip to Moyola Park.
LDFC Line up: Nicholl, Grattan, Calrke, Irvine, Reid, Sullivan, O’Hanlon,Harris, Brannigan, Bennett, Conlon
Subs: Pollock, Dillon (for Grattan) C.Young (for Sullivan ), Angus, Morgan (for Brannigan), McCauley (for Conlon)