Match Report Limavady v Lis Distillery 04/12/21
Lisburn Distillery made the long trip north to Limavady on Saturday to face a side who had a chance to claim top spot depending on how the game against the top two, Bangor and Armagh, went.
There were two changes to the Distillery line-up from the win against Armagh, Nick Napier has returned to Derriaghy so Lewis Higginson returned to the starting line-up and Mikey Withers started in place of Johnny McCaw.
The Whites started on the front foot and Stephen Sullivan had the first effort on goal of the game in the 2nd minute when his shot from outside the box took a deflection behind for a corner, which came to nothing. Two minutes after this Aaron Harris played Mick O’Hanlon in down the left and the winger cut infield and hit a dangerous looking cross into the box, but it was claimed by Connor Brown in goal for the opposition.
At the other end in the 7th minute a pass forward put Dean Brown through on goal for what looked like being The Roesiders first chance to score but Jonah Nicholl was quick off his line to clear the danger and soon after the same player had an effort go well off target after Caoelain Young lost the ball just inside the final third.
All in all, the visitors had settled well into the game but they would go behind in the 17th minute when a high ball forward got Brown beyond the defence, Christian Irvine and Barry Moore both tried to clear the danger but couldn’t and as United were appealing for a penalty following a challenge from the latter Distillery defender the ball made its way across the box to Josh Tennant who made no mistake to make it 1-0.
Johnny Clapham’s side should have been level a minute after going behind when a Withers run down the left ended in a cross to O’Hanlon who shot first time from six yards out, but Brown’s reactions were spot on and he tipped the ball over the bar.
Nicholl had to be alert at the other end just over five minutes later when he saved an Alex Pomeroy header from a Brown cross and then in the 30th minute Withers was next to try his luck when he won the ball back after a home defender lost his footing on the edge of the box but his shot flew across the face of goal.
The half ended with Distillery having had most of the ball in the opening 45 minutes and had played some good football but most of the play was out in the wide areas with little cutting edge up top.
Half-time: Limavady United 1-0 Lisburn Distillery
Andrew Law’s side had an opportunity to double their lead in the first minute after the restart when Joe Reid’s weak clearance from a right-wing cross found it’s way to a Limavady player but fortunately for Reid a teammate was on hand to block the first effort on goal and the second went wide of goal.
The second goal did come for Law’s men though in the 53rd minute when the referee blew for what seemed to be a very harsh looking penalty against Timmy Clarke. Pomeroy stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to make it 2-0 and score his 20th goal of the season.
Clapham’s men to their credit though were not going to go down without a fight and pulled a goal back two minutes later when Lewis Higginson collected the ball in midfield and turned to try his luck from outside the box with his effort beating Brown and finding the bottom corner. With over half an hour to go it was svery much game on.
Both sides had opportunities to score, first Nicholl had to deny a Pomeroy header for the second time, this time from a deep cross just after the hour mark and ten minutes later some good build up play from the Whites ended with O’Hanlon knocking down a Sullivan cross for Higginson but this time the midfielder’s powerful shot was blocked by a defender.
Distillery threw everything they had at getting an equaliser, but The Roesiders defence stood strong. Whites fans thought the equaliser had come in the 84th minute when substitute Paul Young hit a cross into the box that was headed towards his own goal by a defender, the ball seems to move in slow motion and a hush surrounded the ground but unfortunately for visiting team the ball went just inches wide of the post for another meaningless corner.
In the end it just was not to be Distillery’s day and it was Limavady who claimed the points but there were certainly positives in the Whites performance and we move onto this Saturday’s home league game against Moyola Park.
Full-time: Limavady United 2-1 Lisburn Distillery
Lisburn Distillery; Nicholl, Reid, Clarke, Irvine, Moore, Higginson, O’Hanlon, Harris ©, Sullivan, Withers, C. Young.
Lisburn Distillery; Moody, McCaw, Brannigan, McAuley (Sullivan, 88 mins), Dillon, P. Young (C. Young, 70 mins).