Greenisland v Lisburn Distillery – Match report
Greenisland v Lisburn Distillery (Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup 3rd Qualifying Round) – Saturday 30th October 2021)
Lisburn Distillery made the relatively short trip north of Belfast to face Greenisland in the latest round of the Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup.
Johnny Clapham made some changes to the line-up for this game, perhaps with half an eye on the two league games and Steel & Sons Cup semi-final coming up. Timmy Clarke began a three match ban after being sent off against Abbey Villa the previous week so Chris Getty returned to the starting eleven and Johnny McCaw and Jordan Lucas also started with Caoelain Young and Nick Napier dropping to the bench.
The Whites, playing in blue this week, had a promising looking attack in the 4th minute when Rhys Emerson had the ball on the left, but he opted to try and go himself instead of squaring to McCaw who was in plenty of space in the middle and the attack broke down.
Unfortunately, this would be about as close as Distillery would come to goal in the first half as the home side quickly gained the upper hand and saw a free-kick just clear the bar after Aaron Harris had been booked for a foul out on the left wing and five minutes later Jonathan McClurg missed a golden chance to put them ahead when the ball came to him in space after a short corner routine but his shot went wide.
The goal did come for Stuart McClean’s side though in the 30th minute when Distillery lost the ball in the final third and when the cross came in from the right Christian Irvine tried to clear the ball but got nothing on it and Darren Bell made no mistake with his finish from inside the area, it was no more than Greenisland deserved.
Two minutes later and the same player could have made it 2-0 when he outpaced the Whites defence but could not beat Jonah Nicholl in goal.
Bell did manage to double his, and Greenisland’s, tally though just four minutes before the break leaving Clapham’s side with an uphill task. If Distillery were to have any chance of getting through to the next round a vast improvement would be needed after the break.
Half-time: Greenisland 2-0 Lisburn Distillery
After such a lack lustre first half the Whites really needed to hit the ground running in the second half if they were to turn the game around and, thankfully, on this occasion this is exactly what they did. A clumsy challenge by the home defence on 47 minutes saw Distillery substitute Lewis Higginson brought down in the box with the match official Richard Stewart having no hesitation in awarding Diistillery a penalty which skipper Aaron Harris duly slotted home to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
Buoyed on by the goal the Whites were now pushing forward at every opportunity however the home defence to their credit stood firm and even used the opportunity to threaten the Whites goal on a number of occasions.
Gareth McGuiness’ shot from distance sailed narrowly over on 68 minutes and then a goalbound effort by Michael Dunn on 70 minutes was blocked on the line by the back of one of his own players with the ball sailing eventually wide of the post.
McCaw was to come closest to levelling the game for Distillery on 72 minutes when his effort struck the base of the Greenisland post and when he was then brought crashing down seconds later in the box it seemed like the Whites were going to be given another penalty lifeline but on this occasion play was allowed to continue and no spot kick awarded.
The hosts then thought they had increased their lead on 79 minutes when another effort from McGuiness appeared to cross the line only for the ref to decide the ball hadn’t crossed the line and played on, video evidence after the game showing the player may well have had a case.
And so the game ended and Distillery were out of the Irish Cup in what was a truly disappointing day for the club.
Full time Greenisland 2 v Lisburn Distillery 1
Lisburn Distillery; Nicholl, Dillon, Sullivan, Irvine, Getty, Moore, O’Hanlon, Harris ©, Emerson, McCaw, Lucas
Lisburn Distillery substitutes; Reid, Napier (for Lucas, 80 mins), Weir, C. Young (for McCaw, 80 mins), Higginson (for Sullivan, 46 mins)