Lisburn Distillery’s road to Windsor started and ended on Saturday as they suffered a humiliating 0-1 home defeat to minnows Crumlin Star.
In a game where they never got out of second gear, the Whites started the game very slow as Crumlin set up in a more defensive formation and with a greasy pitch also to contend with it was clear that the game was going to a lot tougher than first thought.
Distillery held most of the possession in the opening stages with Joe McDonnell and Jimmy McIlhagga controlling the centre of the park trying to interact with the wingers and eventually they had the first chance of the game as McDonnell crossed for Southam at the back post the ball travelling too fast resulting in a goal kick.
Crumlin Star had the first serious shot of the game as McDonnell gave the ball away to Patrick O’Neil his rasping drive looked set for the top corner only for a world class diving save by Ryan McBride to tip the ball behind and then shortly after Darren Nixon then came to his sides rescue as he beat James Doyle in the air to head away from danger.
Stephen Doyle had Distillery’s next chance as his shot was scuffed into the arms of Ciaran McNeil in the Star net while shortly afterwards Crumlin Star won a free kick in a promising position only for Barry McKervey’s tame effort allowing McBride to pick the ball comfortably out of the air.
McBride then kept the scores level when he made yet another superb stop to deny O’Neil putting the Star ahead after a poor pass by Ciaran Burns trying to feed the ball back to his keeper and then Nixon then made a superb interception to deny a through ball after Stuart Thompson had lost out too easily to Sean O’Neill.
After so many positive performances of late the Whites support were struggling to believe what they were watching and could only hope that the second half would see a much needed improvement from the home side.
Sadly, the half time interval didn’t bring any improvement and it was the visitors who had the first clear cut of the second half as Sargent blocked a shot the ball sailing into the side netting and it was little surprise when the visitors eventually took the lead.
Nixon missed a through pass and the ball found its way to Patrick O’Neil who from the edge of the box struck an absolute screamer into the top corner of McBride’s goal.
After this the script was always going to be predictable with the Whites having to surge forward and the visitors defending for their lives and indeed Distillery nearly replied instantly as McDonell’s shot was cleared off the line and then Doyle’s follow up effort followed the exact same script.
Manager Kincaid thought by then it was time for a change bringing off Jimmy McIlhagga and Stephen Doyle replacing them with winger William Bingham and Ryan Corrigan.
With the Whites pressing to level the game spaces opened at the back and Crumlin had a fantastic chance to double their lead when O’Neil ran unmarked into the box to head the ball inches over the crossbar. So nearly game set and match then but Distillery had a good chance on sixty five minutes as Bingham ran through on goal only for Star keeper Ciaren McNeil rushing off his line to gather at his feet.
Robbie White was introduced as he replaced Sargent, Distillery had yet another chance as Jones played in Bingham his shot lashed low and hard wide of goal and then Jones produced a good save off McNeil as he came inside and shot for McNeil to palm away from the danger zone.
Distillery’s passing had been poor all afternoon and for large periods they were struggling to put two passes together this clearly working to the Stars advantage as they picked up the majority of the loose balls.
Distillery eventually had the ball in the net as a free kick was delivered with pace into the area and the ball found its way into the net only for the referee to harshly rule it out for pushing, much to the frustration of the home support.
Distillery had another good chance as Southam headed the ball from a Bingham cross only for McNeil to pluck it from underneath the crossbar and their last chance when Ryan McBride went up for a corner the ball was played into him he played the ball back to McDonnell his shot was well blocked by the crowded penalty area.
The club would like to wish Crumlin Star in the next round.