Jonny strikes late to give Whites the win in friendly

Distillery have beaten Derriaghy and East Belfast so far during their preparations for the upcoming Premier Intermediate League season. US2916-405PM Pic by Paul Murphy
Distillery have beaten Derriaghy and East Belfast so far during their preparations for the upcoming Premier Intermediate League season. US2916-405PM Pic by Paul Murphy

Lisburn Distillery continued their pre-season with a fine 3-2 victory over East Belfast at New Grosvenor on Saturday.

From as early as the sixth minute, it was evident it would be a good day for the Whites as Marcus Beattie made a fine run down the right and swing in a pinpoint cross for Stephen Hislop to bullet a header in from the back post.

East Belfast levelled 15 minutes later but it has to be said that there was a certain amount of fortune about the goal. An East Belfast midfielder went down under a challenge just inside the Distillery half and the resulting free kick saw the ball take a fortuitous deflection off the head of Distillery defender Stephen Curley to wrong-foot home keeper Galbraith.

Curley did redeem himself soon after with a last ditch challenge that denied the visitors after a defensive mix-up between defence and goalkeeper.

A corner a piece in quick succession saw chances for both sides with Aaron Harris nearly scoring a far post header before an East Belfast striker attempted an audacious overhead kick at the other end.

Distillery went back ahead on 48 minutes as a corner from debutant Tirrell McCrory wasn’t dealt with by keeper and fell nicely to Barry Moore who showed great composure to volley high into the net.

On 56 minutes, home goalkeeper Jack McCrea, who had come on at half time, just did enough to put off an onrushing East Belfast striker forcing him to hit his shot into the side netting. McCrea was called into action again shortly after, but this time he could only get his fingertips to a cross that landed too close to an East Belfast striker, who headed into an open net.

However, Distillery found the winner in fine fashion in the 76th minute. A robust challenge 30 yards out resulted in a Distillery free-kick that Jonny McCaw stepped up to curl into the top corner leaving the East Belfast keeper with no chance.

All in all, it was a positive performance by Distillery on a day that will continue to encourage supporters to believe that a good season lies ahead.