Lisburn Distillery 3 Coleraine 2
Lisburn Distillery captain Peter McCann was the main man at New Grosvenor on Saturday as the bottom side got an important result and massive a confidence boost in their relegation fight.
Coleraine, in form, unbeaten in the league since 17th October, were two down inside fourteen minutes, McCann was the Whites’ catalyst and scorer of both goals — a close range header (7 minutes) followed later by a low drive from the edge of the box.
“We started off like a house on fire” he said afterwards. “The boys came out of the blocks and that was something that we had been working on in training.
“Getting a couple of goals was good, I got put into central midfield and the gaffer was saying to push forward and help (Chris) Kingsberry and Spike and that’s what I did.
“I ended up in the right position at the right time and got myself a couple of goals so Christmas came early a wee bit. If I can get a few more before then I will be over the moon.”
One man far from over the moon was Coleraine boss David Platt. His side battled back after the Whites then took what their boss Tommy Wright described as “stage-fright” and levelled the match on 29 minutes through Stephen Carson.
Seven minutes earlier Tommy McCallion had sent a dipping 35 yard shot in off the cross-bar.
Glenn Ferguson netted the winner from the penalty spot four minutes after the break after Gary Thompson ended up on the deck in a challenge with Kyle McVey but Platt was incensed by referee Mark Courtney’s decision.
“I think he was the only person in the ground who thought it was a penalty,” raged Platt afterwards.
“Their players didn't appeal for the penalty and how he has given it I will never know. We as managers always sit on the fence and hold back and don’t chastise referees when they make mistakes.
“They should be accountable but they are not. Who are they accountable to? They are accountable to an assessor who hides away in a room with a book and writes a report that no-one ever sees and it goes nowhere.
“In my book today that official should take a long hard look at himself — did he have a good game? Come out and say whether he had a good game or not.
“Be honest about it, we as football players are hurting about going away from here losing this game through one very contentious decision.”
Counterpart Wright now looks forward to the rest of this important month, adding: “It’s a massive boost (for us), I have told the players how important December is.
“Most of the clubs I have been at I have always had a good December because we just emphasise to the players how important it is to look after themselves away from the club. I know that it is a hard ask on part-time players but I believe if players act professionally and still enjoy their Christmas it gives an advantage.”