Match Report – Lisburn Distillery 3 v Strabane Athletic 2
Lisburn Distillery 3 vs. Strabane Athletic 2
28/09/19 – Irish Cup Second round
It was almost a dream start for the visitors in the first minute of play as Conor Carlin made a run down the left wing and beat his man for pace, before aiming his shot towards the top left corner before being pawed on to the cross bar by Distillery goalkeeper Sean McElhone and the ball went out for a corner.
Carlin was involved in another chance for Strabane in the 7th minute, as he whipped in a cross from the right wing towards Sean Ferry, but the cross was intercepted by Chris Getty, who put it out for a corner.
Distillery had a chance of their own in the 8th minute as Withers made a run towards the Strabane box, but the defender was able to keep up with him and forced him to turn back away from goal, were he played the ball to Andy Long, who ran on to it and hit it first time, on this occasion wide of the net.
The Whites had another chance on goal in the 10th minute, as Johnny McCaw chipped the ball through to Kevin Braniff in the box. Braniff took the ball on the thigh and tried to volley it past the keeper, who closed him down well and blocked the shot.
Braniff then found himself in Strabane’s box with another chance in the 16th minute after running on to a through ball from Gerard McAlea. Braniff cut inside and looked as if he was going to shoot across goal, but instead he tried to catch the keeper out, by aiming to his near post, however, he dragged the shot wide and the chance went wide.
Chances were coming thick and fast and Distillery had another chance to score in the 24th minute as a ball over the top was taken down by Braniff at the left side of the box. He feigned to his left to lose his defender before delivering a cross to the back post for Mikey Withers who mishit his volley which hit the ground and rolled to the keeper.
Strabane found themselves in Distillery’s box in the 32nd minute as Sean Ferry was tackled in the box, the ball fell to Aaron Porter at the right side of the box, he had time to take a shot, but he rushed it and put the ball off target in to the side netting.
The Whites then had a free kick in the 38th minute from the right side of the box, which was delivered to the far post, were Aaron O’Hagan did well to clear the ball over his own bar.
A minute later Johnny McCaw had a chance on goal as a cross came in for him at the back post and he went for the spectacular, as he jumped in the air for a sideways volley, which he hit straight in to the ground. The ball bounced up and had to be headed away by the Strabane defender, to prevent the ball from falling in to the net and keeping the score line level as a frantic half came to a close.
The second half saw Distillery looking sharp and coming close to scoring in the 47th minute as Braniff whipped a free kick towards the back post, were McCaw was waiting to win a header, which he directed straight in to the keeper’s hands.
The first goal of the game eventually came was scored in the 50th minute as Carlin held the ball up on the edge of the Distillery box and played through Ronan McBrearty on the left wing. He in turn played a low ball to the feet of Sean Ferry who was standing with his back to goal, inside the six yard box, he swivelled and played the ball to Warner Mullen, who was unmarked in the six yard box and the reliable striker was able to tap in past McElhone, to make it one nil to Strabane.
The lead however didn’t last long as Distillery were able to equalise in the 58th minute as Braniff played a low driven ball in to the box, which beat everyone and fell to Withers at the back post who was tackled and lay dead in the middle of the box. Chris Getty was the first to the dead ball and he ran in and placed the ball in to the bottom right corner of the net.
The Whites then almost added to their score in the 66th minute as Michael O’Hanlon played a through ball to Braniff, who beat two men on the left side of the box, to get his shot away, but, unfortunately he dragged it just wide of the left post.
Distillery had an even better chance in the 72nd minute as Braniff’s corner was won in the air by Mark Stewart only to be cleared off the line by Strabane’s goalkeeper, who kept it out with his feet.
The Whites were turning up the heat and Braniff almost scored three minutes later as he struck the ball from distance, forcing the keeper to dive to make the save.
Braniff was involved again in a chance for Distillery as he ran on to a through ball played by the outside of the foot by O’Hanlon. Braniff was then able to play Withers in to the box, with just the keeper to beat, however, the keeper made himself look big and was able to tip the ball away for a corner.
Eventually the breakthrough came as from the resulting corner the ball fell to Mark Stewart at the back post and he had time to take a shot. His shot was deflected by a Strabane defender and fell to Beta, who put enough on it to turn it in to the net and put Distillery in the lead in the 79th minute.
Distillery put the final nail in the coffin as O’Hanlon, switched the ball over the top for Braniff to control and start his run towards the box from just inside Strabane’s half. He ran the whole way to the box and placed the ball in to the bottom left corner of the net.
It looked as if Strabane were going to have a final stab at the Whites as Warner mullen converted a penalty in the 93rd minute to make it 3-2, however, it was too little too late as the final whistle blew shortly after.
LDFC Team: McIlhone, Byrne, Moore, McAlea, Stewart, Getty, Long, McCaw, Beta, Braniff, Withers.
Nicholl, Irvine (for Withers), O’Hanlon (for McCaw), Young (for Long)
Match report by Johnny Millar with David Hunter’s picture gallery from this game now available to view in full on Flickr @ https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHoDa9i