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