A bad season threatened to get even worse for 12-times Irish Cup winners Lisburn Distillery after 53 minutes when Jason Gillespie headed Coagh United into a shock lead at New Grosvenor.
The Whites had dominated to that point but there was clearly going to be no repeat of October’s 9-0 League Cup humbling of the visitors, and a breakthrough against a well organised side looked distant — with Jordan Hughes’ even missing a penalty.
But substitute Michael Halliday turned the game on 65 minutes. “He scored a great header and settled everybody down again, held the ball up well for us and was the difference in the end” said Whites' assistant manager Gary Smyth.
“When we got the second (Philip Simpson following up after Johnny York had saved his 76th minute penalty) everyone settled down and wanted the ball.
“Coagh really did well, pressed us hard and after a first-half where we had missed chances you were fearing the worst.”
Two fine finishes from Hughes and Scott Davidson's drive saw the Whites safely through but the result was a tad harsh on Coagh.
Joint-manager Stevie Uprichard felt decisions had gone against them.
“We thought the corner kick was actually a bye-ball” he said. “That goal was vital because we were reasonably comfortable with the system we were playing.
“At 2-1 down you try to change it, that's when the spaces opened. I don't think 5-1 reflects things, but that's down to us, we changed the system.”