Match report – Lis Distillery v Ballymoney Utd
Lisburn Distillery 2 v Ballymoney United 1
Sadlers Peaky Blinder Irish Cup 2nd Round (25th September 2021)
Lisburn Distillery returned to Irish Cup action on Saturday in the 2nd round, having saw off Newcastle in the 1st round back on the first weekend of the season, and it was home comforts once again with the game taking place at New Grosvenor.
Distillery, lining up in their commemorative 1971 Irish Cup winning team kit, were unchanged from the side that started the League Cup match against Loughgall.
The first shot of the game came in the first minute of play when a visiting player tried his look from range but the ball sailed over the crossbar and two minutes later the Whites had their first shot of the game when Nick Napier cut infield after receiving the ball from Caoelain Young but his shot was comfortable gathered by United ‘keeper, Liam Coyle.
Distillery were on the attack again in the 7th minute when James Begley collected a bill from a Joe Reid throw in and knocked the ball back to Mick O’Hanlon but the wingers shot was wide of the target. Two minutes later up the other end of the pitch Chris Getty could not get his head to a cross from the right hand side and there was a nervy moment when Trevor Parkhill looked to have beaten Christian Irvine to the ball but fortunately Jonah Nicholl was on hand to gather the loose ball.
Things quietened down after this, the Whites had most of the ball and Reid was making some promising runs down the right hand said and looked to play Caoelain Young in beyond the defence on a few occasions but the path to goal was blocked.
The home side came the closest either side had come to breaking the deadlock in the 27th minute when Napier managed to beat Coyle to a loose ball and rounded the ‘keeper but was forced wide and when he did finally manage to get a shot off on goal Kyle Crawford was on hand to clear the ball off the line. The Whites went close again two minutes later when Aaron Harris hit a great cross from the right hand side towards Caoelain Young but the in-form striker could not get his header on target.
The former Ballymena striker was involved again in the 33rd minute when another promising ball forward looked to get him in behind again but this time the referee judged that his path into the box had been stopped unfairly and pointed to the spot. Distillery captain, Harris, took the responsibility but saw his effort to Coyle’s left saved and Caoelain Young hit the follow up off target.
There was one final sight of goal in the 43rd minute when again the Whites caused problems down the right flank for Ballymoney and Harris hit another dangerous cross into the box but Begley unfortunately couldn’t get anything on the ball.
The half-time whistle blew with no goals in the first half, Johnny Clapham’s side had certainly had the better of the chances but all in all Ballymoney may have been the happier side at the interval.
Half-time: Lisburn Distillery 0-0 Ballymoney United
The second half, similar to the first, was a tightly fought encounter with both sides struggling to make the breakthrough and indeed it wasn’t until the 81st minute that the deadlock was eventually broken.
A nicely worked move from the home side saw Paul Young out wide and his slid in pass into the Ballymoney six yard area was turned into the net via a combination of Caoelin Young’s outstretched foot and a visiting defender.
One nil then to the Whites and a goal which forced the opposition to press further up the pitch in search of an equaliser but, as if often the case, this only opened the door further for the Whites frontline and when C.Young added his second with only two minutes of play remaining to make it 2-0 the game was as good as over.
That said of course it wouldn’t be Distillery without making their supporters live on the edge and when Ballymoney were awarded a penalty following a hand ball on 90 minutes, which was duly converted by Gareth McLaughlin, the nerves of those watching from the sideline were back in play.
Thankfully however the team stood firm, the final whistle was sounded and a sense of relief was palpable in the home support as the Whites made their way into the third round of this season’s competition.
Lisburn Distillery; Nicholl, Irvine, Clarke, Reid, Getty, Higginson, O’Hanlon, Harris ©, Begley, C. Young, Napier
Lisburn Distillery substitutes; Pollock, McCaw, Brannigan (for O’Hanlon, 80 mins), P. Young (for Begley, 46 mins), Moore (for Clarke, 63 mins)