Lisburn Distillery travelled to Dixon Park on Saturday knowing it was a must win game to have any chance of Championship One surviva,l however, their hops were dashed as Ballyclare Comrades took a 4-1 win.
It was the Comrades who had the opening chance as Michael Haskins picked up the ball on the edge of the area, but his weak shot was easily dealt with by Whites custodian Gerard McErlean.
Ballyclare were then nearly gifted a goal by McErlean as Gary Brown’s cross was spilled by the keeper but he was able to reclaim the ball comfortably at the second attempt.
Distillery were trying to weave a way into the game and they were extremely close to finding a way through as Matthew Rooney whipped in a teasing cross to the back post but Stephen Doyle just couldn’t make a firm connection with the ball.
The second half couldn’t have started any better for the visitors as Lisburn Distillery took the lead seconds into the half as Lee Chapman’s cross zipped over Paddy Flood and into the roof of the net much to the delight of the travelling support.
However, the Whites then proceeded to ignore one of the games golden rules regarding being extra cautious for the first few minutes after scoring a goal as Ballyclare levelled immediately from kick off as Gary Brown got on the end of a low cross to turn the ball home from close range and into the back of the net.
The Whites found themselves in further problems as Comrades then went 2-1 ahead shortly afterwards as a lack of concentration in the Distillery defence saw Jason Johnstone pick up the loose ball in the box, his sweet shot beat McErlean into the net
Sean Paul Murray felt it was time for a change as Kevin Hughes and Chris Begley came on for Pearce and McIlhagga to try and get a way back into the match.
However, in a crazy space of five minutes the Whites had not only given away a lead but they then went even further behind as Stuart McCullough got on the end of a O’Hanlon pass before slipping the ball past the onrushing McErlean.
Ballyclare went 4-1 ahead as O’Hanlon scored a delightful goal chipping the ball over McErlean from the edge of the box.
Shell shocked Distillery were making it far too easy for the home side and only McErlean making a great save denied Chris Trussell as Gary Brown turned the Whites defence inside out before playing in Trussel, his shot well saved by the Whites keeper.
Distillery had a good chance to pull a goal back as Rooney played in Doyle who tried to chip Flood but the ball went just over the bar a great effort from the striker.
The final whistle eventually blew to bring to an end a very poor performance from the Whites and a result which leaves their chances of retaining their Championship One place next season extremely unlikely.
LDFC team v Comrades: McAleenan, Burns, Simpson, Pearce, Gibson, McIlhagga, McDonnell, O”Connor, Chapman, Rooney, Doyle.
Subs: Corrigan, Atkinson, Begley (for McIlhagga), Roohi (for McDonnell), Hughes (for Pearce).