Lisbellaw Utd 0 H&W Welders 2

Lisbellaw crashed out of the Junior Cup to Harland and Wolff Welders, losing 2-0 at home in the fourth round. The Belfast side scored twice in the first half and Lisbellaw never recovered, with manager Andy Reilly admitting they were second best on the day.
“We’ve had a few poor performances this season but that has to be the worst,” said the manager. “We were well beaten by a good wee side but the worrying thing for me was they were the far hungrier team. It’s not a one off either, it’s been the story of our season so far. It’s very disappointing, the squad we have are far better than they are showing and it’s not the season I anticipated. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise though. We can focus fully now on rebuilding, throw our youth players in and see what they’re made of.”
From the kick off the Belfast visitors put together some good football and they held the upper hand in the opening exchanges. Despite their superiority it was Lisbellaw that carved out the best early opportunity when Paul McGrath went through on goal with a trademark run from midfield, but a rare bad touch enabled the away keeper to smother the danger. A good run from Gareth Carrothers then teed up Davy Little but his cross was put narrowly wide by Curtis Coalter at the back post.
The breakthrough from the young Welders arrived midway through the half. Lisbellaw’s Nelson was outmuscled in midfield and the Welders’ right back ran from the half way line to put in a dangerous cross, with an uncharacteristic mistake by McFrederick allowed the visiting striker to tap into an open net.
Another defensive slip up from the home team gave Welders a two goal advantage before the break, but Lisbellaw did show some fight early in the second half. McGrath, Little, Coalter and Cochrane all had sights of goal as they pressed forward in search of a way back into the match, but they were unable to make the breakthrough that might have sparked a revival.
Having already conceded defeat in their chase for the league title, Lisbellaw’s Junior Cup exit leaves the club’s sole chance of silverware this campaign resting on success in the Mulhern Cup.