Match Report: Comber Rec (A)
Comber Rec v Lisburn Distillery – Toals Steel & Sons Cup 2nd Round – Saturday 21st August 2021
Lisburn Distillery continued their start to the season with a third competition start in seven days, this time it was Steel and Sons Cup action and having received a bye in the first round of the competition we made the trip to Parkway to face Comber Rec in the 2nd round.
Summer signing Jordan Lucas returned from injury to start up front on Saturday and he was partnered by another recent signing, Rhys Emerson. Barry Moore continued his own recovery from injury with his first start of the season, with Chris Getty starting this game on the bench.
It was the visitors who had the first attack of the game in the opening minute, regaining the ball after Comber had kicked off, Lucas saw his shot on goal blocked by a defender and when the ball then fell into the path of Nick Napier his effort was saved by ‘keeper, Andrew Topping.
In the 2nd minute it was Comber’s turn to attack through a powerful run from Dylan Wilson but the midfielder couldn’t escape the close attentions of Christian Irvine and ended up scuffing his final effort wide of the target.
In the 16th minute the home side had their first shot on target when a cross from the right-hand side was deflected away from the goal by a Whites defender but only as far as Matthew Tumilson who struck first time from the edge of the box but Jonah Nicholl was equal to it.
A minute later the ball was down the other end with Emerson trying to weave his way into the opposition penalty box but the former Glenavon player couldn’t find an opening and when he eventually had an effort on goal it was deflected behind by a defender for a corner, which came to nothing.
Distillery did eventually take the lead in the 27th minute, in somewhat bizarre circumstances, as a long ball forward down the left-hand side by Timmy Clarke was headed back towards goal by Comber defender, Reece Whittle, Topping appeared to have the ball within his grasp only for it then to slip through the goalkeepers’ hands and cross the line. A stroke of luck but one the visitors were more than happy to take advantage of.
The rest of the half passed with little action to note, there was a Comber appeal for a handball in the 34th minute after a defender blocked the ball in the penalty box but the referee wasn’t convinced and an incident off the ball involving Irvine and Kyle Woods saw the Distillery defender pick up a yellow card for his troubles in first half injury time.
Half-time: Comber Rec 0-1 Lisburn Distillery
Comber were almost level in the 47th minute when following a scramble in and around the Distillery penalty area a home player hit a shot from the edge of the box that beat Nicholl but fortunately crashed off the underside of the bar and away from goal.
Two minutes later and Nicholl was called into action to make a fine save from a Lex Walker free kick that looked like it was destined for the top right-hand corner.
Comber were largely on top, but the Distillery defence stood strong and did manage to break forward on the hour mark when a clearance found Emerson who was clean through on goal, but the referee blew for offside, there was a question as to whether the debutant had been in his own half when the ball was played forward. A minute later and Johnny Clapham’s side were on the attack again when a promising cross from the left from substitute Stephen Sullivan looked like it was going to find Emerson in space, but Gareth Keenan got a crucial head to the ball to clear the danger.
Another Distillery substitute, Johnny McCaw, came close to doubling the Whites lead with ten minutes left on the clock when the ball came to him just outside the penalty box, McCaw turned and managed to escape the attention of his marker but his effort was comfortably saved by Topping and the final effort on goal for the visitors came from Mick O’Hanlon who tried his luck from range in the 89th minute but the shot was well deflected away from goal by a defender.
There was one final chance for Comber when a free kick not far into the Distillery half gave them a chance to pile men forward in injury time and when an attacking player headed the ball across the goa; it fell to one of his teammates at the back post who shot goalwards, but just when it looked like the ball was going to nestle in the bottom corner Nicholl appeared from nowhere to make a fine save low to his left.
Shortly after this the final whistle blew to ensure Distillery advance to the 3rd round of the Toals Steel & Sons Cup, where we will face Glebe Rangers at home on the 11th September.
Full-time: Comber Rec 0-1 Lisburn Distillery
Lisburn Distillery; Nicholl, Dillon, Clarke, Irvine, Moore, Napier, O’Hanlon, Harris ©, Brannigan, Lucas, Emerson
Lisburn Distillery substitutes; Pollock, McCaw (replaced Napier, 60 mins), Getty, Sullivan (replaced Lucas, 60 mins), Reid (replaced Dillon, 34 mins)