Sean Paul Murray’s reign as Lisburn Distillery head coach started at New Grosvenor last Saturday against Dergview.
Despite an improved performance, the Whites suffered a 2-0 defeat, with Murray’s squad selection being limited due to injuries and suspensions.
As the game got underway the Whites settled the better having the early chances.
Distillery seemed up for it, clearly trying to impress the new managerial team, and it was they who nearly went ahead through Denver Taggart as his header flashed across goal worrying Dergview keeper Alan Buchanan.
However, against the run of play the visitors then took the lead as hesitant Whites defending saw Nathan Cashel get one on one with young keeper Reece Kane, the striker keeping his composure well to fire the ball into the net leaving Kane with no chance of saving.
Kane then kept the score at 1-0 moments later as Ryan Mayes’ free kick from the edge of the area was spectacularly tipped away by his fingertips to the fans relief.
Distillery were playing a high intensity pressing game and it was working as they were pushing the visitors back, all very easy on the eye for the home support.
In an fascinating tussle, Dergview then nearly went two ahead as Cashel turned the Whites defence before smashing the ball over the bar, a warning sign for Distillery but they fought back well, as visiting ‘keeper Buchanan was then the hero three minutes later as he made a sensational save to deny Ryan Corrigan from levelling as he got on the end of a Martin Jones cross.
Distillery had the ball in the net, only for it to be ruled out for offside, when Artur Kopyt slid in at the back post from a Corrigan free kick.
Buchanan made yet another miraculous save on 41 minutes to deny Taggart getting on the score sheet.
On the stroke of the break Distillery spurned another superb chance when Corrigan played a defence splitting pass, the fans on their feet ready to celebrate as Jones ran on to the ball but he screwed his shot wide to the Whites frustration.
Distillery came out the second half all guns blazing after the new managerial duo’s first half-time team talk and it nearly worked as the Whites were a whisker away from being level when Ryan Corrigan’s sublime free kick curled around the wall but hit the crossbar, the ball rebounding out to Jones but his shot was cleared off the line by Colin Robinson.
The Whites were to fall further behind when the visitors doubled their advantage through a real wonder strike from Ryan Mayse, as he picked the ball up twenty five yards out and fired it into the roof of the net despite Kane’s best efforts.
It would be fair to say this goal was very much against the run of play, this resulted in Murray being forced into making two attacking changes bringing off Kopyt replacing him with Sean Southam and then bringing on Mark Armstrong for Martin Jones.
Armstrong was involved right in the thick of the action as he nearly scored a real scorcher when he volleyed narrowly wide after yet another Fegan cross.
Distillery were pressing and pressing but just couldn’t find that all important goal.
Dergview could have had a third in the closing stages as John Edgars shot was well saved by the impressive Kane as he tipped the ball behind after a stinging drive.
A defeat then for the new coaching team but a rousing reception from the home supporters for the effort shown and plenty of positives to be had out of the game as things look up for the Whites.
LDFC Team: Kane, Burns, Ringland, Chapman, Morrison, McIlhagga, Taggart, Fegan, Kopyt, Corrigan, Jones Subs: McStravick, Sargent, Kragba, Southam (for Kopyt), Armstrong (for Jones).