Belfast Telegraph

Three goals up with 30 minutes to go, but Distillery's hopes of a rare win disappear in the fog

By Adrian Rutherford

It is fair to say that Lisburn Distillery fans have not had much to cheer about recently.

The team are bottom of the league and have won a paltry six matches all season.

So imagine the frustration when, with their side leading 3-0 in an important cup tie with just 30 minutes to go, the match was called off – because of fog.

Now they have to do it all again next Tuesday.

And spare a thought too for striker Aaron Boyd, whose hat-trick now faces being scrubbed from the record books.

The bizarre episode unfolded during Tuesday evening's Irish Cup sixth round tie between Distillery and Championship side Dundela.

With 54 minutes gone, Boyd scored his third goal of the evening to put Distillery seemingly into the quarter-finals of local football's top knockout competition.

But just six minutes later, with thick fog enveloping the ground, referee Andrew Davey deemed the fog too thick to continue.

The conditions were so bad that many supporters – and some of the players – hadn't realised a third goal had been scored.

The referee said the decision was taken because of concerns over player safety. Distillery's manager Tim McCann was frustrated that hopes of a rare win had been thwarted.

"It is frustrating because the tie was dead and buried," he said. "It wasn't as if there was going to be a comeback – the only question was whether we could score more goals.

"The pictures look bad but from the middle of the pitch you could see everything.

"Having said that, I understand where the referee was coming from."

McCann said he couldn't remember a fixture falling victim to fog. Dundela manager Mark Snodden said the referee had made the right decision.

"The third goal was farcical," he said. "He should have called it off 10 minutes previous to that.

"But 3-0 down and with the game abandoned, I think we got out of jail."


Other games abandoned in unusual circumstances include:

• Sheffield United v West Brom, March 2002: Sheffield had only six players left on the pitch – three had been sent off and two were badly injured.

• Estonia v Scotland, October 1996: The World Cup qualifier was abandoned after three seconds because the Estonian team didn't turn up.

Belfast Telegraph


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