Match Report – Lisburn Distillery 0 v Shankill Utd 0 (Distillery win on pens)
Lisburn Distillery v Shankill United (Bertie McMinn Memorial Shield) – Saturday 30th July 2022
Lisburn Distillery returned to New Grosvenor for the first time since our last league game of last season against Tobermore as we met our old friends Shankill United in the fourth annual Bertie McMinn Memorial Shield.
The Whites have won the trophy every year since its introduction to our pre-season schedule, though last year it took penalties to separate the two sides.
It was the visitors who had the first real sight of goal after 7 minutes with a long-range effort that sailed just over goalkeeper Ethan Carry’s crossbar.
Distillery had their first opportunity to threaten the Shankill goal five minutes later with a free kick on the left after Bobby Robinson was fouled but the delivery into the box did not trouble the opposition defence.
The Whites did manage to test the Shankill goalkeeper twice with just less than 20 minutes played. Firstly, Carson Elliott delivered a corner into the box and the ball was flicked goalward by Robinson, but the ball was held on the line by the visiting stopper. Then just a minute or two later Jourdan Shearer broke into the box and did well to hold off the opposition defence but again could not beat the man in goals.
At the other end Carry had to be alert to hold a long-range free kick from a United player and there was a nervy moment just after the 30-minute mark when a high ball into the box was spilled by the Whites’ keeper but fortunately a defender was on hand to clear the danger.
The rest of the half passed with little further action of note, Distillery had a couple of sights of goal from set-pieces but none of these came to anything and the first half ended with no goals for either side.
Half-time: Lisburn Distillery 0-0 Shankill United
The Whites were the first to threaten either goal after the break when Elliott got on the end of a cross from the left after 48 minutes but his shot on goal curled wide of the ‘keepers right hand post.
Just before the hour mark United staff were appealing for a penalty when Carry went a long way off his line to sweep the ball away from an advancing Shankill attacker, who went down, but the referee was not convinced and waved play on.
At the other end, three minutes later, an Elliott free kick found the head of defender Johnny Angus, but the ball went just inches over the bar. Shankill then went straight on the attack and had an effort on goal blocked by a Distillery defender, despite some appeals for a handball the referee again waved for play to continue.
Things perhaps swung in favour of Barry Johnston’s side in the 64th minute when the home side were awarded a free kick about 30 yards from goal. The offending Shankill player had an altercation with a Distillery player that left the referee with little choice but to show a straight red card reducing the visitors to ten men.
When the free kick was eventually taken the ball was only partially cleared and found Fra McGuinness but the Distillery captains’ effort on goal came back off the crossbar and the follow up effort was inadvertently blocked by another Whites player.
In the 68th minute the Whites had Angus to thank for a superb last-ditch tackle when a Shankill player beat the offside trap and looked all set to break the deadlock and seven minutes later Lewis Higginson also saw his close-range effort blocked by a defender at the other end.
In the 88th minute there was one last opportunity for Distillery to finally take the lead and perhaps win the match when Dylan Sinnerton found himself through on goal but as had been the case at the other end 20 minutes to ago, he was denied by a great tackle from an opposing defender.
With no goals scored after 90 minutes it meant that the game would be decided by penalties for the second year in a row.
Full-time: Lisburn Distillery 0-0 Shankill United
The shootout took place at the Ballyskeagh end of the ground with the visitors going first and seeing their first effort saved by Carry. To the surprise of many having saved the first Shankill penalty the Whites ‘keeper then stepped up himself and made no mistake to give the Whites the advantage after one penalty each.
Things were soon levelled up though as Shankill scored their second penalty while Conall Murray had his effort from 12 yards saved. Things then swung back in favour of Johnston’s side as Shankill’s third penalty went wide of Carry’s right-hand post and Sinnerton then put Distillery 2-1 up after three penalties each.
With the fourth penalty faced Carry made his second save of the shootout, which meant Higginson could win it for the Whites, but the Shankill stopper was equal to his effort. At 2-1 down though with four penalties taken Shankill still needed to score their next effort to force sudden death at least and once again Carry produced the goods diving low to his right and the ball stayed out through a combination of the goalkeeper and the woodwork.
This means that the Whites 100% record in the Bertie McMinn Memorial Shield is still intact, and the trophy remains at New Grosvenor for the fourth year in a row.
Final Result: Lisburn Distillery 0-0 Shankill United 0, Lisburn Distillery win 2-1 on penalties
Lisburn Distillery; Carry, Grattan, Irvine, Angus, Higginson, Ballentine, McGuinness, Elliott, Shearer, Murray, Robinson
Lisburn Distillery substitutes; Sinnerton, Scott, McAuley, Trialist, Clougherty
Report by Cameron Moore @cameron2604