Downpatrick 0 Northend United 1 Saturday 23rd March 2019
Northend were down to the bare bones with only nine players available for their Lisburn league game with Downpatrick. They started strongly and took the game to their opponents. When Charlie McIlhatton made a surging run into the box in the seventh minute, he pulled the ball back for Lewis McDonald to score from eight yards. Northend continued to control the game with Calvin Termonia and McDonald both hitting the woodwork. Other chances also came along but at half time it was 1-0
Into the second half and Northend began to tire. This was probably expected since Clodagh Maguire was playing her first game following injury and Peter Finnegan coming back after illness. But the defensive three of Campbell, McNeill and Maguire were seldom troubled and Glass was very steady as always in goal. McIlhatton and McDonald continued to control the midfield. Downpatrick became more frustrated and several heavy tackles followed with McIlhatton in particular on the receiving end. Northend created a few chances in the second half but they had to settle for a hard fought 1-0 victory.
Everyone played a part in a good team performance with McIlhatton and McDonald the stand out performers.
Panel: D Glass, M Campbell, B McNeill, C Maguire, P Finnegan, C McIlhatton, L McDonald, C Termonia, G Kenny
Cliftonville 2 Northend United 3 Saturday 2nd March 2019
With three players missing, including goalkeeper Dylan Glass, this was going to be a difficult game against Cliftonville. With no recognised goalkeeper, Gary Kenny started in goal. With their first attack in the second minute Cliftonville took the lead. However, the attitude of Northend to this early setback was good and it did not take long for Peter Finnegan to bring Northend level. Northend continued to press with Finnegan and Lewis McDonald in particular causing the Cliftonville defence problems. It was no surprise on 14 minutes when another good Northend move finished with Finnegan supplying McDonald who gave the keeper no chance.
Cliftonville had two talented players in midfield and they kept Cliftonville in the game. Kenny was doing well in goal and on several occasions came off his line to clear danger. The game was very open and Northend had opportunities to add to their lead. However, it was Cliftonville who got the next goal with a long-range effort. Northend responded again and just before half time an excellent pass from Billy McNeill sent Calvin Termonia clear to make the half time score 2-3
At half time Robert Crooks went into goal with Gary Kenny going up front with Lewis McDonald dropping into midfield. Charlie McIlhatton got to grips with the Cliftonville midfield and Northend controlled the game much better in the second half. The defence of Matthew Bell, Billy McNeill and Oliwer Maka were on top and Cliftonville resorted to long balls. Crooks looked confident in goal and Cliftonville were unable to create any clear chances in the second half. Going forward, Northend continued to create scoring opportunities throughout the second half with some good goalkeeping and other near misses meant that they could not add to their three first half goals. Final score 2-3
A good team performance by Northend with no recognised goalkeeper and no substitutes. Their best display since winning the Lisburn League Shield final at Christmas. Anyone could have been man of the match but with a good first half in midfield and a clean sheet in the second half the award goes to Robert Crooks.
Man of the Match: Robert Crooks
Panel: G Kenny, M Bell, B McNeill, O Maka, P Finnegan, C McIlhatton, R Crooks, C Termonia, L McDonald