Whites safely through to the Intermediate Cup fifth round

Lisburn Distillery overcame a spirited performance by their hosts Malachians in the shadow of the Cavehill last Saturday to win 3-1 and to progress into the fifth round of the Intermediate Cup.

The North West Junior league matches this Saturday are postponed.

On a tight compact pitch it was the Whites who settled the fastest in the game and they were unlucky not to take the lead on the ninth minute as a goal bound effort from Robbie White was cleared off the goal line.

An early let off then for the hosts but it was to be short lived as with only 12 minutes on the clock a great through ball from Joe McDonnell sent Marty Jones clear and the diminutive striker made no mistake tucking the ball into the corner of the net.

Malachians fought back and drew level on 18 minutes when a free flowing attacking move was brought to an abrupt end by a foul on Donnan in the Distillery penalty area and the referee wasted no time in pointing to the penalty spot.

Up stepped the home team’s man of the match in Jerome McAtee and he calmly slotted the ball home to level the game.

After this the teams seemed to have the measure of one another and chances were at a premium so it was no surprise that the game got to half time with no further goalmouth action to report.

The Whites lifted their game in the early stages of the second half and indeed thought they had retaken the lead on 49 minutes when a sublime 25 yard free kick from Colm Kirgan saw the net ripple but as the visiting support were cheering a goal it turned out that it was the side netting and not the back of the net which the ball had caught.

The Whites remained patient and their patience was eventually rewarded on 59 minutes when a delightful flick on from Jones fell into the path of the in running Sean Southam to provide him with a glorious chance which the leading goal scorer wasn’t to miss.

Keeping a calm head Southam placed the ball calmly past the advancing home goalkeeper to make it 2-1 and in doing so notching up his 13th goal of the season.

With time running out Malachians opted to switch formation by going to three at the back in the hope of levelling the game but, as can so easily happen, the change of system went against them as the Whites notched a third goal.

A decent through ball over the back of the three man defence forced the home keeper to rush out wide from his goal to clear his lines but in doing so the ball fell right to the feet of Robbie White who reacted quickly and wasted no time in driving the ball back towards the home goal from all of 30 yards out.

The home keeper was stranded and had no chance of regaining the ground and the Whites’ well placed shot bulged into the net.

After this a couple of half chances fell the way of the visitors but they weren’t able to convert them so the Whites went on to win the tie 3-1 and thus making the fifth round of this season’s competition which, although still to be drawn, will take place on Saturday February 14.

Lisburn Distillery team: McBride, Morton, Kirgan, Burns, Nixon, McIlhagga, Short, McDonell, White, Southam, Jones.

Subs: Kopyt, McLarnon (for Southam), Smyth (for Kirgan) , Withers (for Short).

Weather permitting, the Whites will return to league action at New Grosvenor tomorrow (Saturday), when they face Ballyclare.