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Lisburn Distillery have nothing to lose in League Cup visit to Glenavon

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Lisburn Distillery's Darren Nixon wins the ball from Dundela's Michael Halliday at Wilgar Park, March 2014

Lisburn Distillery's Darren Nixon wins the ball from Dundela's Michael Halliday at Wilgar Park, March 2014

Lisburn Distillery's Darren Nixon wins the ball from Dundela's Michael Halliday at Wilgar Park, March 2014

In 2011, Tommy Wright's Lisburn Distillery won the Irish League Cup for the first time in their history, beating Ronnie McFall's Portadown 2-1 in the Mourneview Park final.

While their televised success was shock, it was completely out of character for a club that had spent the last decade in and around the top half of the Premiership table.

Unfortunately for Distillery, much has changed since then. They return to Mourneview Park tonight (Monday) in the knowledge that getting to the Third Round of the WASP Solutions League Cup would be something of a minor miracle, never mind repeating the feat of 2011.

Since their relegation in 2013, Distillery have had to adjust to life in intermediate football. It's a tough transition to make, but captain Darren Nixon believes this new crop of Distillery players might surprise a few people.

“I'm looking forward to playing Glenavon as it will gives us an indication of where we are at.

“We have some experienced players in our squad and a couple of lads who have returned to football after time out of the game. We’re a hungry team and I think we will cause a few surprises this season.

“We’re the underdogs in the league this season as well, as everyone is talking about Bangor, Carrick and Ards, but I think that suits us. We might not win the division, but I think we will have a say in things.”

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Nixon, who has played second tier football for Ards, Carrick Rangers, Dundela and Distillery, believes this year’s Championship One title race will be the most competitive in ten years.

“This is the strongest second tier in a decade. I think all the clubs are in the right divisions now. There is nobody you look at and think they’re way above where they should be.

“Every team has quality players and that can only be good for the neutrals. I think it will be the tightest Championship in years.”

If Distillery can spring another Mourneview surprise, it would give the whole club a long overdue lift after a couple of difficult years.

 

WASP Solutions League Cup Second Round - Monday Night:

 

Dundela v Carrick Rangers (6.30 pm)

Knockbreda v Donegal Celtic (6.30 pm)

PSNI v Ards (6.30 pm)

Annagh United v Portadown (7.45pm)

Ballyclare Comrades v Linfield (7.45pm)

Ballymena United v Newington YC (7.45pm)

Ballymoney United v Ballinamallard United (7.45pm)

Bangor v Portstewart (7.45pm)

Cliftonville v Wakehurst (7.45 pm)

Coleraine v Larne (7.45 pm)

Crusaders v Glebe Rangers (7.45 pm)

Glenavon v Lisburn Distillery (7.45pm)

Institute v Dollingstown (7.45pm)

Loughgall v Dungannon Swifts (7.45pm)

Moyola ParkvsGlentoran (7.45pm)

Warrenpoint Town v HW Welders (7.45 pm) 


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