Last minute winner breaks Whites’ hearts

Distillery's James McIlhagga in recent action. US1534-551cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Distillery's James McIlhagga in recent action. US1534-551cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Late disappointment struck for the Whites as they exited this year’s Steel & Sons Cup competition courtesy of a last minute goal for Knockbreda in extra time.

After last week’s mauling by Larne a big response was required from the players on the day and, to their credit, that is exactly what they delivered.

Only seven minutes were on the clock when the Whites took the early lead. After a well struck effort from Fegan was parried by the Knockbreda ‘keeper recent Distillery signing Mark Armstrong seemed set to open his Distillery account but just as he positioned himself to shoot home the visiting goalkeeper lunged at him taking his leg from under him.

The referee had no hesitation pointing to the penalty spot. Up stepped Denver Taggart to send the ‘keeper the wrong way and the home side were ahead.

However that early joy was tempered soon afterwards as the now injured Whites striker Armstong had to leave the field to be replaced by Sean Southam.

The visitors pushed hard for an equaliser and they were kept at bay right through until the dying seconds of the first half when former Distillery player Owain Beggs beat the offside trap before coolly placing the ball past the advancing McBride.

Second half saw the Whites forced into making a second enforced change with yet another forward Sean Southam having to leave the field of play after complaining of feeling unwell.

The Whites were therefore left with only one forward on the field of play and when he (Marty Jones) also had to be subbed off due to injury, the day began to look bleak for the hosts.

Manager Kincaid moved midfielders Kevin Hughes & Kevin Short up front along with Michael Fegan, a bold move that was rewarded on 76 minutes when all three “forwards” were involved in an attack the ball eventually falling to Fegan who blasted home from six yards out.

The visitors refused, however, to lie down and were back on level terms again only five minutes later when that man Beggs was once again on hand to coolly stroke the ball home.

It was 2-2 at full time and with little to report for most of extra time the game seemed certain to be heading for the dreaded spot kicks, but then with only seconds remaining Knockbreda struck. Good work by substitute Halliday set up Daniel Burns and he made no mistake from six yards out. So once again sheer frustration for the Whites, but certainly a much better performance from the previous week against Larne and if this standard can be maintained then surely a return to fortune is only around the corner.

Lisburn Distillery v Knockbreda: McBride, Morrison, McMenamin, Nixon, Burns, McIlhagga, Hughes, Fegan, Taggart, Jones, Armstrong. Subs v Knockbreda: Southam (for Armstrong), Short (for Southam), Kopyt (for Jones), Chapman, Devine.