Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

McCann in a rage as Lisburn Distillery feel heat at bottom

Lisburn Distillery 0 Donegal Celtic 1

Donegal Celtic took a major step towards Premiership survival by winning their relegation tussle with Lisburn Distillery.

A smashing finish from Stephen O'Neill on 55 minutes gave DC the points and in turn gave the Whites a mountain to climb if they are to beat the drop.

It was the only real highlight of an otherwise drab encounter but for the victors it opened up a five point safety cushion with only four games to play, whilst the Whites now stare relegation full in the face.

Whites boss Tim McCann was clearly hurt by the result and the fact that his team really put up little fight in such an important game.

"I told the boys it was a battle and they have to go to war and when you are in this situation you have to give every single ounce of energy that you have and I thought that we weren't up for the fight today," said McCann.

"DC were, which was disappointing considering the effort that the players put in on Saturday against Portadown.

"You can't switch off in this game, too many of our boys just didn't have it.

"It's sore to say, but in games like this that is what it boils down, who wants it more – and they wanted it more.

"In games like this you shouldn't really need team talks – it's like when you play Glentoran and Linfield you didn't need team talks because the players know what it means.

"There were maybe too many young individuals out there, maybe naive and when it came to the crunch when they needed to stand up and be counted it didn't happen.

"I just feel let down.; I don't think the players realise what they are letting go here, the history of Distillery Football Club – I would give my right arm to be on that pitch to help them out."

The Whites didn't force John Connolly into a significant save and DC shaped up much better. O'Neill's fine volley into the top of the net was the key moment of the game and perhaps Distillery's season.

"I think it was thoroughly deserved," said DC boss Pat McAllister who due to a touch-line ban was forced to watch the game from afar.

"I think that we were well on top, especially in the first half and we just lacked that cutting edge up front.

"The message that the coaching staff gave to the players at half-time was to be patient, that we would create chances and luckily enough we got one, Stephen O'Neill putting it in the back of the net."

But despite the five point lead and superior goal-difference, McAllister doesn't consider Premiership survival a done deal just yet.

"It 's three points but it guarantees nothing, we aren't guaranteed to stay up – there are still four massive games to go and that is what I have told the players.m" he said

"When I came on board we were bottom of the league and leaking too many goals – the main thing now is to try to keep clean sheets because we feel we have enough quality in midfield and upfront to maybe nick a goal and that proved the case today."

Lisburn Distillery: Windrum, Smyth, Garrett (Halliday 60), Hunter (Ferguson 36), Harkness, Davidson (Withers 70), McCullough, McCann, Gordon, Hughes, Boyd. Subs: Traynor, Melly.

Donegal Celtic: Connolly, Keegan, McShane, Bannon, Burns, McAreavy, Downey (Deans 78), Cleary (McCann 84), O'Neill (Hughes 74), Miskimmin, Bradley. Subs: Devine, Gargin.

Referee: Andrew Davey (Bangor).

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