'We didn't play as well as we can' - Holden

Published: 20 Sep 2012 13:000 comments

Lisnarick 2; Immaculata II 4;

LISNARICK have fallen at the first hurdle in this year's Coca-Cola Junior Cup, after a poor second half from the hosts allowed their Belfast opponents Immaculata to capitalise.

A Lisnarick player skips over a challenge during their 4-2 defeat to Immaculata II.

After a tight first period, Lisnarick manager Warren Holden was left feeling disappointed at how poor his side performed after half time, and that ultimately cost them here.

It was the away side who started the better in the first 15 minutes here, as Lisnarick took a while to get going in the early stages. Immaculata II created a number of chances in the opening exchanges, but to no avail as the hosts began to work their way into the contest.

Lisnarick weathered that early storm, and were awarded a penalty midway through the half, only for John Ward to miss the opportunity, to let Immaculata off the hook.

The visitors were buoyed by that let off, and five minutes later they took the lead after some slack Lisnarick defending. To their credit though, the home side bounced straight back and levelled the contest. Another penalty, but this time they converted the chance with Kevin McCauley slotting the ball in the corner.

Lisnarick were now playing the better football, and as half time approached they took the lead. A fine through ball by Daryl McNulty left Benny McCaffrey in the clear, and he coolly placed the ball beyond the goalkeeper to give the hosts the advantage.

The lead didn't last long though. Right on the stroke of half time, Immaculata struck to leave it at two goals apiece, with Lisnarick guilty of switching off before the interval.

That goal seemed to knock the confidence of the home side, as they started the second half sluggishly. They weren't playing anywhere near as well as they had in the opening 45 minutes, as the visitors began to dominate proceedings.

Immaculata were now pressing Lisnarick high up the pitch, and were creating chance after chance on the home side's goal. That pressure finally told just after the hour mark when the Belfast side took a well deserved lead, with Lisnarick now having it all to do to stay in the cup.

The away side were very much on top though with Lisnarick unable to penetrate the Immaculata defence, and when the visiting side took a two goal lead ten minutes later, the game looked up for Lisnarick.

They did carve out a few half chances as full time loomed, but they failed to make anymore impression on the Immaculata goal, with the Belfast team holding out for a fairly comfortable victory in the end.

Lisnarick manager Warren Holden wasn't happy with his side's second half performance. He said, "We just didn't turn up in the second half and we were definitely below par so that's disappointing. We just didn't play as well as we can and it's cost us in the end."

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