Lisburn Distillery have been handed a chance for perfect revenge.
After their injury-time 3-2 defeat to Carrick Rangers on Tuesday evening, the Whites have been drawn to take on Gary Haveron’s men in the Intermediate Cup semi-final on Wednesday 8 April.
“That’s the type of funny thing football throws up at us,” said Distillery boss Tommy Kincaid. “It’s a match we will go into knowing that we can get a result and Carrick know that we can cause them problems.”
The Whites will no doubt be looking towards that fixture already when they travel to take on Knockbreda (kick-off 3pm) in Championship One on Saturday.
Distillery look set to finish comfortably in mid-table, currently in seventh spot, but Kincaid is demanding that his squad keep their foot on the pedal.
“As I said to the players, if you’re worth your salt, you will go into every game determined to win,” he said.
“We want to try and win as many games as we can and finish as high up the table as possible. Our target is still to finish in the top six and for the club, the directors and the fans, we want to make sure we do that.
“If we can get a spot in the Intermediate Cup final on top of that, it would be absolutely fantastic.”
Distillery missed their chance to break back into the top six on Tuesday as Carrick scored twice in the final five minutes to turn the match on its head. Miguel Chines’ penalty and Ben Roy’s clincher came after Distillery’s Joe McDonnell had been dismissed for a second booking.
“It was encouraging but very annoying at the same time,” said Kincaid.
“We should have won that game because the lads played so well. Carrick are a very good side but even their manager Gary Haveron admitted after the game that they were second best on the pitch.
“We should be grateful to have the squad that we have on our budget. They have proved on several occasions this season that they can be as good as the best players in this division. Luck just hasn’t been on our side this season.
“Carrick’s last minute winner was very cruel for our guys on Tuesday after the performance they had put in. I was very proud of them and felt for them because they didn’t get the result they deserved.”
Marty Jones had given Distillery a dream start, shooting low into the bottom corner after just three minutes. As the visitors threatened to run away with the points, Stephen Doyle struck the bar.
However, Carrick found a way to equalise when a spectacular Chines free-kick burst the top corner. Darren Smith regained Distillery’s advantage after the break but, even with Carrick centre-back Ciaran Donaghy forced to go into nets to replace his injured keeper during the second period, the Whites couldn’t hold on for victory.