Lisburn Distillery took on Queen’s University in the second round of the Intermediate Cup at New Grosvenor on Saturday.
The Whites started the match on top as Kevin Hughes broke through the shackles, before powerfully shooting goalwards but with no direction allowing Declan Brown to save with ease.
However, the early pressure was to reap reward as the Whites were awarded a penalty in the sixth minute after a collision between Hughes and Adam Robinson.
Up stepped Denver Taggart to fire into the net sending Brown the wrong way in the process.
Queen’s had their first chance as Michael Allison cut inside before firing goalwards the ball whistling just over the top and Matt McManus was next to test Distillery as he skipped past Darren Nixon before his thumping effort was superbly blocked by Ciaran Burns.
Queen’s had a goal chalked off for offside as Patrick Stuart slid in a James Lavery cross, only to see his celebrations cut short by the offside flag.
However, shortly afterwards they did have an equaliser as Noel Corrigan took advantage after the young Whites keeper Darren Ross had parried a shot and the ball was not cleared by the defence.
Queen’s nearly took the lead on thirty two minutes as Chris McIlwaine’s cross was well saved by Ross, the ball falling to Mark Prenter his shot blocked on the line by Gareth Ringland, a real let off for Distillery.
Shortly after this home manager Murray was forced into his first change due to injury, bringing off the experienced Ciaran Burns replacing him with young Daniel Larmour in central defence.
The remainder of the half fizzed out with only real chance to report on as James Lavery’s shot was a whisker away from the bottom left hand corner as he ran on to a Matt Hughes pass.
Lisburn Distillery had the first chance of the second half as Darius Roohi crossed low into Kevin Hughes, his shot well blocked by Andrew Cleary but after this the game became very disjointed, Distillery just edging it in terms of possession.
With little happening the Whites management then opted for their second change of the day bringing on Artur Kopyt to replace youngster Daruis Roohi.
Queen’s were starting to get on top of the young Whites by this stage and should have been ahead on sixty one minutes when Patrick Stuart was played through before his shot cracked off the post when he really should have scored.
Distillery’s first chance of the second half came through Mikey Withers as Kevin Hughes dummied the ball expertly into the winger his shot well saved by Brown allowing McManus to clear off the line.
The chance was gone and it Queen’s who took the lead as Mark Prenter turned home after a scramble in the box to hook the ball into the net despite home keeper Ross getting has hand to the ball.
The goal seemed to wake the home side a little and Distillery could have been immediately level when Brown pushed the ball over the bar from a stinging Taggart drive.
Darren Nixon was then inches away from getting Distillery level as his shot flashed low across the box and wide of the target to his frustration. Distillery had the last chance of the game as Jimmy Mcilhagga crossed low to the near post but Andrew Clearly cleared the ball away this was the last action of the game as Distillery were knocked out of the intermediate Cup.
Further disappointment then for the Whites, but with injuries and suspensions taking their toll and only twelve fit first team players to choose from this was always going to be a tough match.
If anything the game against Queen’s proved the need for Distillery to strengthen and with the January transfer market now open expect to see a number of changes in personnel at the Whites over the next few weeks.
LDFC team v Queens: Ross, Ringland, Evans, Nixon, Burns, Roohi, McIlhagga, Hughes, Withers, Taggart, Grainger.
Subs: Kopyt (for Roohi), Murtagh, Elliott, Larmour (for Burns), Kane.