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Marty Havern shows his anguish at the final whistle (Picture: Darren Kidd/


NEWRY City failed to make home advantage count, missing out on a top flght place with this play-off defeat to Lisburn Distillery.

With the tie scoreless after the first leg things were perfectly poised going into the return.

Distillery seized the early advantage when, on 18 minutes, David Cushley volleyed home the rebound after a David Larmour header with a Pat McShane cross came back off the crossbar.

City levelled on 33 minutes through Don Tierney with a drive into the bottom left corner from the edge of the box.

Then, four minutes later, they moved in front. Stephen Hughes found himself unmarked on the end of a Darren King right-sided cross to direct a header beyond 'keeper Billy Brennan.

But the Whites went in at half-time on level terms after a point blank Gary Thompson finish two minutes into added time from an Andy Hall ball from the right.

Pat McGibbon's Newry enjoyed the majority of second half possession, coming closest just after the hour when Darragh Hanaphy took the ball past Brennan before firing over from a tight angle.

Marty Havern and Hanaphy again also came close but were denied by a double block from the Whites custodian.

Ultimately, however, the night belonged to John Cunningham's visitors and, against the run of play, they grabbed a third goal on 79 minutes when substitute Scott Davidson connected with a Neal Gawley pass to slot the ball into the bottom left corner of Gareth Buchanan's goal.

Newry City: Buchanan, King, McCabe, Copeland, Hutchinson, S. Hughes, Tierney, Hand, Hanaphy, M. Hughes, Devlin subs Donegan (replaced McCabe 89), Havern (replaced Hand 65), Freeman (not used), Grant (not used), D. Hughes (not used)

Lisburn Distillery: Brennan, Callaghan, McShane, McCashin, Hunter, Thompson, Kilmartin, Liggett, Larmour, Cushley, Hall subs McCullough (replaced Thompson 71), Gawley (replaced Larmour 62), Davidson (replaced Hall 71), Cooling (not used), Hughes (not used)

Tags:  Lisburn Distillery