Match Report: Newcastle (H)
Lisburn Distillery welcomed Newcastle to New Grosvenor on Saturday in the first round of the 2021/2022 Sadlers Peaky Blinders Irish Cup.
This marked the first time a competitive game had been played at Ballyskeagh since Banbridge ran out 3-1 winners in a Premier Intermediate League (PIL) tie in February 2020.
In terms of the team lineup it was mostly familiar faces but Lewis Higginson made his debut in central midfield and fellow summer recruit, Nick Napier, started out on the left, potential debutants in Sam Haveron, Stephen Sullivan and Jamie Moody started on the bench.
Saturday 14th August 2021 – Lisburn Distillery v Newcastle (Sadlers Peaky Blinders Irish Cup Round One)
It was actually the visitors who started the game on the front foot winning two corners early on but these came to nothing and after this the Whites settled and began to take control of the game.
Johnny Clapham’s side had the first real sight on goal after four minutes when a pass from Napier found Caoelain Young, the striker seemed to thing about shooting but then crossed to Higginson who couldn’t direct his header on target.
With just over 10 minutes on the clock Jonah Nicholl was called into action to save a close range effort from Gavin Moore after he managed to break beyond the Distillery defence and a few minutes later a cross-cum-shot from an Aaron Harris free-kick was blocked after some great work on the left channel from Paul Young to keep the ball and win the foul in a promising position.
The home side eventually managed to break the deadlock in the 23rd minute when a long range effort from Higginson could only be parried by the Newcastle ‘keeper, Wayne Lennon, the ball was eventually cleared but the Whites regained the ball in midfield and this time it was Napier who tried his luck from range and on this occasion the shot seemed to go through Lennon and into the back of the net to cap a perfect debut for the former Derriaghy player.
Paul Young had a good opportunity to double the lead in the 33rd minute when he headed over from a Harris cross after Lennon’s poor clearance from a backpass. The experienced Distillery forward will have been disappointed to not hit the target but he made no mistake three minutes later when he was played in by Napier and neatly hit his shoot across Lennon and into the corner of the net to double the lead.
There was little action the reminder of the half and Clapham will have been mostly pleased with what he saw from his team to send them in two goals ahead at the break.
Half-time: Lisburn Distillery 2-0 Newcastle
Once again Newcastle started the half brightly and won a free kick in a good position in the 47th minute but Simon Gribben’s effort hit the wall and a few minutes later Paul Young missed a glorious chance to make it 3-0 when he missed the target from another Harris pass.
Just after the hour mark the Whites were denied by the woodwork after Napier cut infield and passed to Paul Young but once again the striker was denied his second goal of the game and moments later then visitors were back in the game when a long clearance from Lennon beat everyone and allowed Gribben to get beyond the Whites defence and lob the ball over Nicholl and into the goal to halve the home side’s advantage with 25 minutes still left on the clock.
It was Distillery though who looked more like scoring for the rest of the game as Mick O’Hanlon missed the target with two headed efforts, Higginson was denied by Lennon once again and substitute Scott Brannigan had an effort cleared off the line.
The third goal did come though in injury time when Napier completed his brace by hammering the ball home following a cross from O’Hanlon.
The Whites may have made hard work of the win at times but having waited 18 months for his first competitive home game as manager Clapham and his players will be delighted to be in the hat for the next round and attention now turns to Tuesday night when we travel to Dollingstown for the first league game of the season.
Full-time result: Lisburn Distillery 3-1 Newcastle
Lisburn Distillery; Nicholl, Dillon, Clarke, Irvine, Getty, Higginson, O’Hanlon, Harris ©, Napier, C. Young, P. Young
Lisburn Distillery substitutes; Moody, Brannigan (replaced P. Young, 69 mins), Moore (replaced Getty, 59 mins), Haveron, Sullivan (replaced C. Young, 46 mins)