Lisburn Distillery v Tullycarnet (Steel & Sons Cup 2nd Round) – Saturday 19th August 2023
Lisburn Distillery welcomed Tullycarnet to New Grosvenor on Saturday for the first home game of the 2023/2024 season and the first Steel & Sons Cup game of the campaign, both sides having received a bye in the first round.
Barry Johnston made three changes to the side that beat St. James Swifts the previous week; Josh Lynch, Bailey Hoy and Carter Savage dropped out of the starting eleven with debutant Curtis Woods coming into the side along with Michael Gallagher and Johnny Angus.
After a slow start to the game the home side began to gain the upper hand and with eleven minutes on the clock, Johnny Newell did well to beat a couple of defenders and make his way into the box, but his cut back was cleared behind for a corner, which came to nothing in the end.
There was a nervy moment for the Whites just before the 20-minute mark when a swerving Tullycarnet free kick from deep bounced in the box but Ethan Carry managed to lay claim to the loose ball before the visitors could take any advantage.
In the 23rd minute Distillery tested the visiting goalkeeper, Neil Edgar, for the first time when he had to push a Kyle Flynn effort from a tight angle over the bar after the full back got onto the end of a cross towards the back post and a minute later Gallagher had a chance to open the scoring, this time it was Ryan McNickle who got on the end of a cross at the back post but could only divert the ball back across the goal and unfortunately the ball was perhaps just a touch to high for the number nine who could only flick his header off target.
Distillery had appeals for a penalty in the 25th minute when Conor McDermott went down under a challenge just inside the box, but the referee instead booked the Whites player for diving and soon after this Gallagher headed another effort off target.
Johnston’s side were well on top at this time but would need to make their possession and chances count, thankfully they did just that in the 31st minute. Flynn squared to Newell on the edge of the box and the Distillery midfielder hammered home a great driving effort to give the Whites a well-deserved lead.
The rest of the half continued in much the same fashion, and it was not a huge shock when Distillery doubled their lead right before the break. A low corner from the left found Joe Tully who turned and shot past Edgar into the far corner of the goal.
Half Time: Lisburn Distillery 2-0 Tullycarnet
The last action of the first half was Distillery scoring their second goal of the game and the first talking point of the second was them adding further to the lead. In the 46th minute Gallagher had another effort on goal and this time managed to find the target, his effort was pushed away by Edgar, but McNickle was following up to tap home the rebound and make it 3-0.
Distillery continued to dominate the game and in the 57th minute Gallagher broke into the box and rounded Edgar but was forced wide and was unable to get a shot off and despite getting the ball around Edgar again it was just not to be for last season’s top goalscorer as the danger was eventually cleared.
The Whites continued to look for a fourth goal and went close in the 66th minute, substitute Robert Geddis crossed from the left and found fellow substitute Ryan Sharkey but has header was cleared off the line by a defender and McNickle’s follow up crashed off the underside of the crossbar and then with 15 minutes left to go a great touch from Sharkey on the edge of the box saw him turn and shoot but Edgar was equal to it.
Tullycarnet did go as close as they had to pulling a goal back in the final minute of normal time, David Anderson managed to poke to the ball past the oncoming Carry, but Woods was on hand to clear the ball off the line and preserve the Distillery’ defence’s clean sheet.
In the end it was a comfortable enough game for the Whites and two wins from two and seven goals scored sets things up nicely for the first league game of the season, this Saturday at home to Ballymacash Rangers.
Full Time: Lisburn Distillery 3-0 Tullycarnet
Lisburn Distillery; Carry, Lewis, Flynn, McDermott, Angus, Woods, Grattan, Newell, Gallagher, Tully, McNickle
Lisburn Distillery substitutions; Devenny (for Newell, 71 mins), Sharkey (for Flynn, 67 mins), Geddis (for McDermott, 67 mins), Magill, Savage
Match report by Cameron Moore @cameron2604
A picture gallery from this game by David Hunter can be found on our Flickr page @ https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjARRPt