Match report – Bet McClean league Cup – Second round Larne 3 v Lisburn Distillery 0
Larne v Lisburn Distillery – Bet McLean League Cup 2nd round (27/08/2019)
Lisburn Distillery made their first visit to Inver Park in just over three years on Tuesday night in the second round of the League Cup to take on a Larne side that are currently in the top flight for the first time in 11 years.
With three games in seven days Stephen Hatfield rang the changes with Sean McIlhone and Chris Getty making their Distillery debuts in place of Jonah Nicholl and Mark Stewart. Also coming into the starting line-up were Anthony Byrne, Stephen Curley, Scott Brannigan, Richard Nesbitt and Nick Beta.
As expected the home side started on top and it took just three minutes for them to have their first sight of goal when he had a shot from outside the box but McIlhone held the effort. McIlhone was called into action twice more in the first ten minutes when firstly he held a Lee Lynch shot after Barry Moore could only partially clear a Tomas Cosgrove cross and then Hughes tried his luck from range again and the Whites keeper could only push the ball over the bar for a corner. Andy Long and Byrne also had to be alert to block efforts from Ben Tinley, the latter taking one in the face for his troubles.
The opening 15 minutes of the game were largely played in the Distillery half but the Whites rearguard, marshalled by the experienced Curley, were holding their own and had restricted Larne mainly to efforts from outside the area.
In the 18th minute Tilney was causing problems down the left hand side again as his curling cross come shot rattled the crossbar before being cleared for a corner by Timmy Clarke. After this the visitors did have a brief period of possession but couldn’t trouble the Larne defence.
In the 33rd minute the Whites had their first real attack of the game when Clarke picked up a loose ball on the left hand side with space ahead of him bombed forward but his final cross was blocked by a defender. Two minutes later and we were on the attack again but this time it ended with Nesbitt clashing with Larne keeper, Conor Mitchell, conceding a free kick in the process. After a break in play for Mitchell to get treatment he was replaced by Conor Devlin.
This break in play perhaps didn’t help Distillery as in the 40th minute Larne broke the deadlock when Tilney crossed to an unmarked Thomas Stewart and the Larne frontman nodded home from close range. Larne made it 2-0 just before the break when Hughes finally beat McIlhone with another shot from range into the left hand corner of the net.
The half-time whistle blew and despite the scoreline the Whites had defended admirably throughout the half but now there was a concern that the floodgates could open.
Half-time: Larne 2-0 Lisburn Distillery
The second half started much like the first half did, with Larne on top and in the 51st minute the impressive Tilney had the beating of the Distillery defence again but fortunately his shot also cleared the crossbar.
Despite plenty of pressure from the home side the Whites managed to make it to the hour mark without conceding a goal and shortly after this Hatfield introduced Pierce Arterton for his Distillery debut, in a bid perhaps to see if we could start seeing more of the ball. Arterton was soon joined by tricky winger Michael O’Hanlon and full back Josh Doyle.
In the 77th minute McIlhone was called into action again as he did well to hold onto substitute Pablo Andrade’s shot from the edge of the box following a corner.
The third goal for the home side did arrive in the 84th minute when former Portadown and Cliftonville defender Chris Ramsay’s superb strike from outside the area gave Mclhone no chance.
Credit to the Whites though as they kept plugging away and even had a few attacks of their own in the closing stages of the game with one free kick from O’Hanlon being cleared behind for our first corner of the night.
The final whistle blew and the Whites players can rightly be proud of a battling performance against a top Premiership side, we now look forward to our own league campaign beginning away to Dollingstown on Saturday.
Report by Cameron Moore
David Hunter’s full piture gallery from this game can be found on our Official Flickr page @ https://flic.kr/s/aHsmGA6CrM
Lisburn Distillery; McIlhone, Byrne, Clarke, Getty, Curley, B. Moore ©, Long, Brannigan, Rooney, Nesbitt, Beta
Substitutes; Nicholl, Wright, Doyle (for Byrne, 77), O’Hanlon (for Beta, 72), McCaw, Arterton (for Brannigan, 67), Harris