Northend Youth 3 Tollymore Cubs 1 Saturday 23rd February 2019
The U12 Youths continued on from their cup win last week with another assured performance against Tollymore. With a couple of players still unavailable due to injury, it gave the management team the opportunity to rotate the squad. Number 1 goalkeeper Jack Nellins was given the outfield responsibility of playing striker whilst his striker Jackson Greer donned the gloves for a stint in goals. Both players adjusted well with Nellins getting on the scoresheet.
The game started well for the Youths with a high intensity start and forcing Tollymore inside their own half. Nellins had the first two opportunities with headers going wide. Feargal McKay then had the next opportunity with a well hit free kick crashing off the post with the opposing keeper well beaten.
Northend continued to press forward but were struggling to find the final finish with their dominant pressure. However, the breakthrough came in the first half when Eddie Smyth hit a long range free kick which blasted into the top corner. The back 3 of Jamie Boyd, Eddie Smyth and Harry Livingstone were solid all afternoon and kept a high line to close in Tollymore.
The midfield of Seb Smyth and Jack Stewart worked tirelessly breaking down any momentum and always looked for the quick break. More pressure from Northend continued however failure to capitalise meant the game went in 1 nil at half time. Half time 1-0
At the interval several changes were made with Josh Magill, Leo Smyth and Michael Mongan coming on. With O'Donnell and McKay switching sides on the wings. The Youths continued to press forward looking for the 2nd goal and constant pressure finally paid off when a through ball was played through to Nellins who unlatched a spectacular left footed strike which left the keeper with no chance.
All credit to Tollymore who never gave up and a rare defensive mix up allowed Tollymore through however Greer was able to save to keep the score 2 nil. Leo Smyth and Magill started to grow a custom to their new roles and a through ball for Michael Mongan allowed him to race forward and unleash an unmighty strike from outside the box which lobbed the keeper and smash into the roof of the net 3-0. Tollymore pushing more players forward won a free kick 15 yards out and they eventually got a goal their hard work deserved to make it 3-1.Full time 3-1
Further changes made with Livingstone taking over as keeper and immediately saved a long-range effort from Tollymore. The game finished 3-1 and the Youths now look forward to their Cup quarter final next week.
Panel: J Greer, J Boyd, E Smyth, H Livingstone, S Smyth, J Stewart, F McKay, M O'Donnell, J Nellins, J Magill, L Smyth, M Mongan
The U12 Youths got their Cup campaign off to a winning start in this tightly contested game.
It was the Blues who started brightly creating a number of early chances with McKay going close with a curling effort from just outside the box. In a period of sustained pressure O'Donnell, Eddie Smyth and Seb Smyth were all denied by the excellent Sunnyside keeper. A run of 3 corners in succession saw Eddie Smyth rise to power a header goalward which was deflected to the net. With confidence high the Blues took control of the game but despite their dominance the half ended with the minimum between the sides. Half time 1-0
The second half was a tight affair with both defences shading it. Donnelly, Livingstone and Eddie Smyth had been solid throughout in open play, a rare moment of hesitancy saw Sunnyside draw level from a corner. The blues pushed hard for a winner, the excellent Stewart set McKay through down the right his thunderous half volley narrowly rising over the bar. Full time 1-1
So, it was down to penalties to decide the outcome. Nellins saved the first, Eddie Smyth slotted home, Sunnyside hit the bar, Livingstone was denied by a fine save, Nellins saved again, McKay found the bottom corner to keep the blues 2 up. Sunnyside scored but O'Donnell fired home to leave it 3-1 with only one penalty remaining.
This was a solid performance, Nellins stepped up in the shoot-out, Livingstone, Donnelly and Eddie Smyth were solid at the back. Stewart despite a nasty knock played through the pain barrier to win the physical battles. McKay and O'Donnell worked tirelessly on the wings driving at the Sunnyside defence and defending when required.
Panel: J Nellins, J Livingstone, E Smyth, J Stewart, M O'Donnell, G Donnelly, F McKay, J Greer, S Smyth, J Magill
Dromara 1 Northend Youth 2 Saturday 26th January 2019
The U12 Youths continued their impressive start to 2019 with a fine win against Dromara. With Jack Nellins returning to goal and a strong defence of Livingstone, Smyth and Boyd it allowed the wee blues to control the game and press high up the pitch. A few early chances from Donnelly, Kaczmarek, Greer and Stewart went begging. O'Donnell was causing havoc down the left whilst Smyth in an attacking role was causing problems but with some great opposition defending and goalkeeping the game went in goalless at the break.
With development high on the agenda and a strong bench several changes were made throughout the game with Leo Smyth, Josh Magill and Michael Mongan entering the fray and the boys fitted in with ease. Half time 0-0
Just after the HT break a through ball from the midfield was played down the right for a surging run for Kaczmarek to meet. With Stewart making the run to the back post, Kaczmarek whipped in a powerful strike which evaded the keeper and nestled into the top corner. Northend continued to press and look for the 2nd goal however a lapse in concentration and a swirling wind meant a long-range effort was directed into the Northend goal.
Eddie Smyth, Harry Livingstone and Jamie Boyd were fantastic at the back and further changes of Donnelly and Seb Smyth to the Back line up transitioned with ease. With the game balanced at 1 all and Northend continuing to push for a winner eventually came when a throughball from O'Donnell allowed Kaczmarek to put pressure on the keeper who he rounded and tapped in for his 2nd of the day. Some late pressure from Dromara was applied late on but Nellins was alert in goals to push one around the post of the corner. Full time 1-2
Subway Man of the Match: Michael O'Donnell who has really raised his game the last couple of weeks.
Panel: J Nellins, J Livingstone, E Smyth, J Boyd, J Stewart, M O'Donnell, G Donnelly, J Greer, J Kaczmarek, S Smyth, M Mongan, J Magill, L Smyth
Northend Youth 3 Banbridge Panthers 1 Saturday 26th January 2019
The U12 Youths missing 3 regulars put in an outstanding display against Banbridge Panthers. The game started brightly with the blues on the front foot, a surging run from O'Donnell down the left saw him through on goal only to be denied by the post. The chances kept coming and when McKay and O'Donnell combined to set Kaczmarek through the striker outpaced his marker and fired a thunderous shot past the keeper.
The chances kept coming, Donnelly and McKay were starting to click down the right and Smyth was controlling the midfield. It was no surprise these 3 combined with Smyth putting the blues 2 up from close range. The final action of the half saw McKay skip past 2 men and his curling shot looked to have made it 3 only for the Panthers keeper to somehow reach to the top corner and turn it round the post. Undoubtedly one of the best saves you will see this season. Half time 2-0
The second half saw Banbridge have a spell of possession and a few chances but they found stand in keeper Greer in fine form. The introduction of Leo Smyth added a bit more bite to the blues as they took control of the game. Eddie Smyth was controlling the defence giving Donnelly freedom to overlap down the right and support McKay. A host of chances followed but brave defending and outstanding goal keeping kept the score at 2. With 10 mins to go McKay's corner was played back to him, his first-time shot was saved but his persistence saw his effort from a tight angle find the net. A late consolation goal from the penalty spot couldn't take the shine off this performance.
Greer was solid in goal, Donnelly, Eddie Smyth & Boyd difficult to get past. The midfield 3 of McKay, Seb Smyth & O'Donnell controlled the game and Kaczmarek led the line well. Special mention to Mongan and Leo Smyth for stepping in and doing a job when required, Smyth in particular brought a tenacity to the game at the right time. Full time 3-1
Panel: J Greer, G Donnelly, E Smyth, J Boyd, S Smyth, F McKay, M O'Donnell, J Kaczmarek, M Mongan, L Smyth
Lisburn Youth 1 Northend Youth 0 Saturday 12th January 2019
Following the high scoring thriller of last week expectations were high amongst the travelling support. The game started as a scrappy affair with the blues going closest to scoring from two set pieces. With Jack Stewart deputising in goal and the reshuffle impacting the cohesion that was very evident the week before the blues never really got going. Against the run of play Lisburn put together a flowing counter attack and their striker slotted home. Half time 1-0
The change at half time saw Stewart move to midfield and Kaczmarek move to goals. The game continued with the Blues dominating possession but failing to capitalise in front of goal. A good through ball from Livingstone put Stewart through on goal his first touch took him away from the defender only to be upended in the box, much to the dismay of both sets of supporters the ref waved play on.
This was a game that we should have won but hats off to Lisburn who nicked the goal and saw out the win. Stewart and Kaczmarek did well in their deputising keeper roles with Livingstone and Donnelly the pick of the outfield players. Full time 1-0
Panel: J Stewart, H Livingstone, S Smyth, J Boyd, G Donnelly, F McKay, J Kaczmarek, M O'Donnell, J Greer, J Magill, C Watt
Northend Youth 6 Glendowan 4 Saturday 5th January 2019
The Blues started brightly and created an opportunity straight from the kick off. A neat one two between Greer and McKay saw the later slot home from close range. Despite the free-flowing attacking football the Northend defence were out of sorts and conceded 3 goals in a 10 min period. This was proving high end entertainment as the blues pushed to get back into the game. A through ball from Livingstone found O'Donnell who was up ended 20 yards from goal. McKay placed the ball and found the top corner with a superb strike.
Unfortunately, hesitation in our defence again saw us concede to make it 4-2. The blues kept pushing forward and on the stroke of half-time Greer and McKay combined to set up Kaczmarek to pull another goal back. Half time 3-4
A few changes at half-time steadied the ship with Kaczmarek and Stewart swapping roles. Stewart's influence on the game was significant as he scored a first-time effort from McKay's cross and then slotted home a second from close range. With their noses in front a good run from Greer saw his shot beat the keeper and the in-rushing Donnelly made sure the ball crossed the line.
This was an entertaining 10 goal thriller that had it all. For the Blues Stewart, McKay and Greer played some fine football, the second half defensive display was much better with Livingstone and Seb Smyth outstanding. Full time 6-4
Panel: J Nellins, H Livingstone, S Smyth, G Donnelly, J Stewart, F McKay, J Kaczmarek, M O'Donnell, J Greer, L Smyth, J Magill, M Mongan