Cutler winner sends Rangers into the semi-finals

Lisbellaw United 1
Enniskillen Rangers 2

Enniskillen Rangers are back in another Junior Cup semi-final thanks to goals from Eoin McManus and Mark Cutler at a packed Drumad on Saturday.

Michael Kerr’s men edged the all-Fermanagh and Western quarter-final but Lisbellaw more than played their part.


The two sides meet again in the Mulhern Cup this week and Kerr is hoping for a Law hangover.

“We saw it out on Saturday but it was nail-biting stuff at the end and we face them again this week,” said Kerr. “I think we deserved the win for sure but there were a few nervous moments.

“There was a good atmosphere and it was a good occasion, we are just delighted to come out on the right side of it.”

The early stages were dictated by Enniskillen Rangers who owned the ball without creating anything clearcut.

But the opening goal felt like it had been coming and McManus delivered it when he rose to head home a Nathan Khan corner at the back post.

Rangers should have come in at the break with more to show for their efforts but Cutler had a shot saved by Josh Brownlee and failed to connect properly with another chance.

Jason Keenan was also denied a goal by Brownlee and as the half wore on, the home side came into it.


Craig Johnston had their clearest sight of goal in the opening half when he cut in from the right onto his potent left foot and fizzed in an effort that Joel Pedan tipped over the bar.

Lisbellaw were brighter after half-time and enjoyed their best spell of the game for a period.

Johnston thumped an effort over the bar after Paul McGrath sent Nathan Graham down the line.

Lewis Vance did well out wide before delivering for Richard Woods who looked to have got the run on his man but he miscued his effort into the air.

The equaliser came in the 57th minute after a free-kick dropped in the area and defender Philip Beacom turned well before stabbing the ball low under Pedan.

Rangers played their way back into the ascendancy and Stuart Rainey fired just wide as they came on strong.

The winner came just after the hour mark through a fine passing move after Khan won a 50-50 in the middle. The ball was worked to Jake Browne and then Keenan, despite offside appeals, and he pushed it wide for Mark White who cut in and found Cutler who took a touch and finished.

Lisbellaw protested that Cutler, as well as Keenan were offside, but VEO footage suggested the decision was marginal.

Lisbellaw pushed forward in the final quarter and almost grabbed a fortunate equaliser with a deep Johnston cross that came off the far post and evaded McGrath on the rebound.

Sub Paul Elliott set Scott Moutray racing in on goal but White made a terrific interception and Rangers held on to progress, as they have done so often in the past.

“It’s disappointing after we got level and I felt we were in the ascendency at that stage,” said Lisbellaw boss Kyle McCleery. “The second goal killed us and the boys thought it was offside but those are the fine margins.

“It just wasn’t to be for us on the day. But it was a great cup tie to be involved in and probably the biggest crowd at Drumad that I can ever remember.”

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