Match report – Lisburn Distillery 2 v Ballymena Utd Res 0 02/10/21
Lisburn Distillery v Ballymena United Reserves (Steel & Sons Cup 4th round) – 2nd October 2021
Saturday saw yet another cup game for Lisburn Distillery as we welcomed Ballymena United Reserves to New Grosvenor in the Steel & Sons Cup 4th round.
The two sides met in the same competition in the 2018/2019 season with the Whites winning that game 9-1, the same outcome today would see Johnny Clapham’s side advance to the quarter-finals.
Clapham made just one change to the starting line-up from last weeks Irish Cup win against Ballymoney United with Paul Young, who impressed after coming on at half-time last week, starting this game.
The home side had the first sight on goal in the 5th minute when Paul Young’s superb cross from the left into the box found his namesake, Caoelain, but unfortunately the on-form striker could not get the ball under his control and the opportunity was gone.
The first goal did come just two minutes later though and Paul Young was involved again as he did well to play Timmy Clarke into the box, but a Ballymena defender was on hand to clear behind for a corner. The corner was taken by Mick O’Hanlon and Chris Getty rose to meet the ball with a thumping header that gave United ‘keeper, Billy McDowell, no chance.
The Whites had most of the ball in the early stages but could not build on their early goal and as the half wore on the young Ballymena side did start to see more of the ball and grew in confidence. They did manage an effort on goal in the 15th minute when Conall Doherty dragged a shot from distance wide of Jonah Nicholl’s right-hand post and three minutes later Lewis Tennant tried his luck with a powerful shot from range after Distillery lost the ball in the Ballymena half but again the shot did not trouble Nicholl.
Distillery did double their lead in the 30th minute when a ball over the top put Paul Young, who had proven to be more than a handful for young United rearguard, through on goal and the experienced striker kept a cool head to fire the ball past McDowell.
There was perhaps the hope that the Whites would push on and score a few more but it was not meant to be in the first half anyway and truth be told there was little action to note in the final 15 minutes of the opening period.
Half-time: Lisburn Distillery 2-0 Ballymena United Reserves
The second half saw the Whites continue to hold the upper hand in the game and they really should have put the game to bed on 53 minutes when Paul Young was played in by Aaron Harris but somehow he managed to drag his effort wide when it looked easier to score.
The United youngsters refused to lie down and created a few good chances of their own as the half developed with Whites keeper Jonah Nicholl having to be alert to thwart goal bound efforts twice in the space of a few minutes mid way through the half.
After that however the game petered out with the only real chance of note being on 73 minutes when a glancing header from Distillery’s Joe Reid went over the United cross bar.
With no further goals to report the game finished 2-0 to Distillery in what was all in all a comfortable performance from the Whites against a young Ballymena side full of running and no shortage of effort
The result takes the Whites into the quarter finals of this seasons Steel & Sons Cup competition for 2021 with a home draw against Abbey Villa being their reward for victory in this one.
Full-time: Lisburn Distillery 2-0 Ballymena United Reserves
Lisburn Distillery; Nicholl, Higginson, Clarke, Irvine, Getty, Reid, O’Hanlon, Harris ©, Napier, P. Young, C. Young
Lisburn Distillery substitutes; Pollock, McCaw (for C. Young, 72), Sullivan, Moore (for Getty, 53), Brannigan (for Napier, 62)