Lisburn Distillery started their season in disappointing fashion after falling to a 2-1 defeat to Crumlin Star in the first round of the Steel and Sons Cup.
In a game that was littered with free kicks, the Whites fell behind 2-0 before pulling a goal back late on from Jonny McGaw.
The game started poorly for the Lisburn side when Crumlin went ahead in only the third minute through a fantastic goal by Joseph McNeill.
Neat, one touch passing down the middle opened up the Whites defence and allowed the Star man to hammer home from 30 yards.
The Whites tried to put their poor start behind them soon after when a free kick was won within crossing distance on the left. McGaw stepped up and whipped in a cross that was punched clear by the Star keeper.
Despite Distillery’s best efforts, Crumlin continued to dominate and nearly doubled their lead when McNeill gave chase to a long ball played forward from the back, the Star man being taken down, resulting in a free kick.
Distillery had to make two substitutions in the first half due to injury when Marcus Beattie and William Wharry came off for Matt Boyd and Tirrell McCrory.
Lisburn Distillery had the first chance of the second half when a long ball to McSorley was cushioned down to McGaw, who skipped passed a defender before crossing to Alan McMurtry but the Distillery man’s volley went over the cross bar.
The pressure paid off for Star in the 65th minute, when they doubled their lead through Brendan O’Neill. The Star man kept his composure after being put through on the left and fired his shot from just inside the box into the far corner of the goal.
Distillery then brought off McSorley for Darren Bell and the fresh legs proved the start of a turning point in the game. Bell’s hold up play for McMurtry and McGaw allowed the Whites to finally put pressure on the Crumlin Star defence.
Their reward came in the 86th minute in the form of a well taken goal by McGaw when he collected the ball from just outside the centre of the box from a Bell pass and placed his shot into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Unfortunately, it was a case of too little, too late for the Whites with Crumlin Star holding out for the victory.
All in all, it was a disappointing display from the relatively new team but McIlwaine and O’Boyle can take heart from the play in the final 15 mins of the game.