The game got off to a slow start with both teams cancelling each out in the midfield area however Northend got the first opportunity with Jakub firing just wide from a narrow angle. Oxford Sunnyside were next up with a chance but a great block from Stewart in nets denied their big Number 9. The Northend defence was Colossal with one local spectator stating Livingstone, Smyth and Donnelly were like the Great Wall of China and contact has been made with a certain US President for a patent.
Smyth and Jakub were tirelessly energetic in the middle of the park driving forward at every opportunity. Just before half time Magill had a shot blocked which was heading goalwards. Half time: 0 - 0
An explosive start by the Youths in the 2nd half and what seemed like many corners in succession - the final corner delivered by Livingstone was fizzed across the box and knocked into the net. With about 8 players taking credit for the goal and that they got the final touch it is still unclear who actually scored the goal.
Northend continued to press forward looking for that all important goal with the two Michaels driving forward at every opportunity. Oxford were very dangerous on the counter attack but Stewart in nets was alert and turned an excellent effort around the post. Further long-range shots from Donnelly and Livingstone narrowly went wide
Against the run of play - A long kick out from the Oxford keeper evaded the 'Great Wall' and crashed off the post only to be turned into the Northend goal on the rebound.
The quick introduction of Leo Smyth added some bite into the midfield and a couple of shots were expertly saved by the Oxford Keeper. In the final minute Northend were awarded their 27th corner of the game and this time it was floated into the box and Magill made contact only for the Oxford defender to energetically clear off the line.
To conclude all credit to Oxford Sunnyside for an exciting and entertaining game of football with great banter from their supporters. The match was played in great spirit and Northend's experimental line-up were extremely unlucky not to make the road back home with the Win they craved. Full time 1-1
Panel: J Stewart, G Donnelly, E Smyth, H Livingstone, S Smyth, M O'Donnell, M Mongan, J Kaczmarek, J Magill, L Smyth
Northend Youth 0 Banbridge Lions 3 Saturday 1st December 2018
This was a very evenly matched game for most of the first half with both sides going close early on. The Lions took the lead on 15 minutes when a good save from Kaczmarek rebounded off the crossbar, the Lion's striker was first to react and head home from close range. A late long-range effort left the Blues facing an uphill battle in the second half. Half time 0-2
The Blues started the second half brightly with O'Donnell going close. A 3rd goal 5 minutes later killed the game off as a contest. The Blues continued to battle to the end with Magill improving with each game and Seb Smyth outstanding in the centre of defence.
The boys will be glad to get back to training on Monday with a full squad and can look forward to their NIBFA Plate game on Thursday night in Cookstown.
Panel: J Kaczmarek, M Mongan, S Smyth, C Watt, J Magill, G Donnelly, E Smyth, F McKay, M O'Donnell, L Smyth
Northend Youth 0 Lisburn Distillery 2 Saturday 24th November 2018
With a number of regulars still involved in more important educational matters the boys travelled with just a starting 9. The Blues started brightly with McKay and Kaczmarek going close in the first 5 mins. A good passage of play involving Eddie Smyth found McKay down the left and his weaving run and cross found O'Donnell in the box, his first time shot was well saved.
The Blues grew in confidence and continued to dominate, Magill in his first competitive start was solid in front of the back 3. A rare moment of hesitation by Seb Smyth let the Lisburn striker through to slot past Nellins in their only attempt of the half. Straight from the restart McKay set Kaczmarek through on goal but his low effort went narrowly wide. In a hectic finish to the half that yielded 4 corners and Eddie Smyth's effort off the post but no equaliser. Half time 0-1
The second half saw a tactical change with Nellins moving to striker and Kaczmarek to goals. The physical presence of Nellins was effective from the start as he reduced the towering centre halves influence and unsettled the home defence. The Blues continued to battle hard with the back 3 of Mongan, Seb Smyth and Boyd solid, McKay, Eddie Smyth and Nellins pushed hard for the equaliser. A second individual error saw the Blues concede very much against the run of play.
With an empty bench its always difficult but the Northend boys showed fantastic spirit and battled for every ball dominating possession. Eddie Smyth and McKay put in excellent displays with Nellins adding an edge up top. Special mention to Josh Magill who was a rock from start to finish. Full time 0-2
Panel: J Nellins, M Mongan, S Smyth, J Boyd, J Magill, E Smyth, M O'Donnell, F McKay and J Kaczmarek
..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Northend Youth 0 Lisburn Rovers 2 Saturday 10th November 2018
With a number of regulars involved in more important educational matters and a late withdrawal of their keeper, this was always going to be a tough game.
The Blues started brightly with Donnelly and O'Donnell going close in the first 5 mins. Deputising keeper Kaczmarek was proving difficult to beat and his excellent distribution was the catalyst for a wave of attacks. McKay and Eddie Smyth were combining well in the centre of the park with both forcing saves from the Lisburn keeper. Half time 0-0
The second half started with Lisburn creating a good opportunity only for Kaczmarek to turn the effort over the bar. Michael Mongan in his first start of the season was battling hard at right back. A 5-minute spell of indiscipline led to a speculative shot dropping over the emerging Kaczmarek.
The Blues continued to battle hard with the back 3 of Mongan, Seb Smyth and Boyd solid, Eddie Smyth, McKay and Donnelly pushed for the equaliser. With 7 mins remaining Lisburn bundled an attempted clearance over the line to go 2 up. A quick restart and a long-range effort from Eddie Smyth gave the blues hope. In the last 5 minutes the blues dominated possession, 4 corners and a goal line clearance summed up the effort.
With a makeshift lineout a draw would not have been an unfair outcome. Final score 0-2
Panel: J Kaczmarek, M Mongan, S Smyth, J Boyd, E Smyth, M O'Donnell, F McKay, G Donnelly & L Smyth