Distillery let lead slip in opening draw

Lisburn Distillery in action away to Bangor in the Premier Intermediate League season opener. Photos courtesy of Gary Carson.
Lisburn Distillery in action away to Bangor in the Premier Intermediate League season opener. Photos courtesy of Gary Carson.

Lisburn Distillery were left to ponder what could have been after letting a two goal lead slip in their season opener away to Bangor.

Colin McIlwaine’s men travelled to the Bangor Fuels Arena for their first match in the Premier Intermediate League on Tuesday night, and looked to be more than comfortable before allowing Bangor back into the match with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Whilst the ‘Whites’ dominated the first half, they went in scoreless at half time.

However, a wonder strike from Jonny McCaw opened the scoring, and had the travelling fans praising what they had witnessed.

A tidy finish from Paul Young for the second had seemingly put the game to bed, before goals from Aaron Dalzell and Gareth Beattie in the dying seconds earned the home side an unlikely draw.

With results going the Whites’ way elsewhere, they lie seventh in the table due to alphabetical order, with no less than eight teams level with one point at this very early stage.

Manager Colin McIlwaine was left disappointed as he believed his side deserved more.

“If you’d asked me before the game, I’d have taken the draw,” McIlwaine commented. “But based on the performance, once we got into the game we deserved to win.

“The best thing we can do is learn from the experience,” he explained.

“Apart from Bangor having one or two chances in the first half, we dominated the half completely, without getting the goals.

“Then we scored with a wonderful goal from Johnny McCaw. When we got the second, I was thinking that’s the three points, but you can never rule anything out and we have to learn from that; we have to manage the game better.

“I’ve been saying it’s going to be a slow process, but the crowd have been excellent,” McIlwaine added. “We had good travelling support with us and people have said that the match against Bangor was our best performance in a while. I would just say, get behind us and we will produce the goods.”

After the game, Jonny McCaw said of his fantastic goal: “I just took a touch and hit it. I didn’t see the keeper so I just went for it!”

Elsewhere, the Whites were disappointed to exit the Steel & Sons Cup last weekend when they lost 2-1 to Crumlin Star.

A disappointed McIlwaine said: “We didn’t adapt that well. We had a few boys missing and I don’t know if it was nerves or whatever, but we didn’t do ourselves justice.

“The Steel & Sons Cup is a big tournament, so it was a big let down.

“However, to react the way we did against Bangor was very pleasing,” he added.

Lisburn Distillery have an Irish Cup fixture this weekend, with Rosario being the visitors to New Grosvenor on Saturday.

The Whites will be in cup action again on Tuesday when they travel to Cliftonville in the League Cup, second round, kick off 7.45pm.