Moyola Park welcomed Lisburn Distillery to the Mill Meadow with Moyola Park looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat at Bangor in mid-week. Moyola Park were able to welcome back skipper McQuillan into the centre of defence after suspension.
Both sides were keen to get off to a good start, each side battling hard in the middle of the park. It took 16 minutes for the first half chance – the ball falling to McMurty who just fired over for Distillery. Hassan tested McCrea in the Distillery goals when his well placed shot was well saved on 20 minutes. Moyola Park began to create the better chances and a great cross from Hassan on 23 minutes was just headed well by the influential McIllhatton. Moyola Park eventually took the lead in the 39th minute. A brilliant corner from Harris was superbly headed into the net by McAuley from 10 yards to give Moyola a 1-0 lead. Then just before half time there was a moment of controversy. There was an off the ball and coming together of players. Hislop for Distillery appeared to clash with Moyola`s McIllhatton and referee Harrigan showed both players red cards leaving both teams down to ten men. It was a sour end to what had been an entertaining first half with Moyola leading 1-0 at the interval.
The second half started off with the same high tempo as the first half. There was a lot more space now that both sides had been reduced to 10 men. Moyola took advantage and doubled their lead in the 54th minute when Jason Paul fired a lot shot across McCrea. Moyola Park now led 2-0 and in a comfortable position. Distillery almost reduced the deficit when a corner was superbly met with an overhead effort from Curley but the big centre half`s effort just went wide. Both sides made changes to replace tired legs. Substitute Rafferty rattled the bar in the 87th minute after a quick Moyola counter attack. The big striker got on the score sheet on the 90th minute after great work from Jason Paul to won the ball outside the area and his low cross found Rafferty who calmly fired the ball beyond the helpless McCrea in the Distillery goals.
Moyola Park – Farniok, McCallister, Harris, McQuillan ©, Doey, McAuley, Hassan, McIllhattan, Taggart, McCann, Paul. Subs – Beggs, Rafferty, Forrest, McNamee, Mullan.
Lisburn Distillery – McCrea, Docherty, Douglas, Croft, Curley, Hislop, McMurtry, Harris, Simpson, McCaw, Young. Subs: Galbraith, Martin, Lynch (for McCaw), Clarke (for Young), Beta (for Croft)
Referee – Diarmuid Harrigan