Northend Youth v Lisburn Distillery Saturday 21st October 2017
A superb team performance, with a rub of the green, under grey skies, saw the young Blues provide their most comprehensive win of the season so far. Although, it must be stated that the scoreline does not adequately reflect some very convincing play from robust and sporting opponents, Distillery.
From the outset, Northend looked menacing, with accurate passing, great movement and superb accuracy from marksman Daniel Patterson providing a two-goal lead in the first five minutes. The tie settled down somewhat, with consistent defending from the ever dependable Justin Mark, versatile Kurtis Adger and relentless Kevin McAllister seeing off several forays from the Lisburn attack.
Fevered efforts from an on-form midfield of Finn Connon, Max Diamond and Oliwer Maka ensured a plentiful supply of opportunities to the strike team of Caelyn Clare and Daniel Patterson, who secured his hat-trick after fifteen minutes' play.
The first half ended with the young Blues looking at their most fluent, with goalkeeper Thomas Hasson confidently stymying a number of efforts by Distillery.
Their ears ringing with a warning against complacency, Northend resumed control rapidly with Daniel Patterson unleashing yet another salvo to bag his fourth consecutive goal in the game within five minutes of the resumption, turning on a sixpence to drive home a technically superb score. Now, the focus turned to right-forward Caelyn Clarke who, two minutes later, cashed in his perfect positioning with an exquisite volley; a deserved reward for consistent effort.
To their great credit, the Distillery Lads were bowed, but far from out, and repeatedly probed the Northend area. But yet again, tenacious interceptions from Owen Doherty, and real grit from Kurtis Adger and tireless harrying from Kevin McAllister fended off the assaults.
Sensing the real prospect of a clean sheet, Thomas Hasson pulled off a dramatic save, just enough to divert a promising drive onto the far post, with the rebound picked up by the vigilant Blues' midfield.
Two fine efforts by Finn Connon were to graze the wrong side of the Distillery post, but yet again, Caelyn Clarke found himself ideally poised to hammer home the almost certain win with his second goal some twenty minutes in. Oliwer Maka, delivering yet another tireless performance in midfield, also came tantalisingly close.
The blizzard of Northend goals came to a fitting close, with a full-blooded, long-range drive from full back Justin Mark, demonstrating once again just his versatility at the heart of the squad.
An uplifting performance from every single Northend player, and a well-deserved result from an enthusiastic and determined Youth side.
Panel: T Hasson, K Adger, J Marks, M Diamond, C Clarke, O Maka, O Doherty, K McAllister, D Patterson, F Connon
Northend Youth v Tollymore Saturday 14th October 2017
Returning to the Lisburn League following a week's rest, Northend Youth and their spirited opponents, Tollymore, treated supporters and neutrals to a wonderful game of exciting, tense football. The eight-goal thriller saw end to end play, with both sides seizing the initiative, only to be thwarted by almost immediate counter-attacks.
The young Blues took the lead after ten minutes with a masterful free kick from centre-back, Justin Mark, whose performance throughout the match was flawless. However, the stage was set for a true battle of wills when Tollymore responded with their first less than two minutes later.
Tenacious defending from the ever-ready left-back, Kurtis Adger, supported on the right by the thoroughly determined captain, Kevin McAllister, held off further attacks from the young Mourne men; but, it wasn't enough to prevent Tollymore scoring their second, with Blues' keeper, Thomas Hasson defeated by a ricochet from the far post.
Undeterred, Northend mounted a swift assault, driven by superb passing play among mid-fielders Max Diamond, Finn Connon and Timmy Gillan, halted by a foul. Once again, Justin Mark stepped up from the back line to deliver yet another artillery round from twenty yards, bringing the sides level once more within less than a minute.
Sails billowing, the Ballymena men quickly stamped their authority on the closing minutes of the first half, with forwards Caelyn Clarke and Oliver Maka linking up perfectly, before Finn Connon swooped to clinch Northend's third goal.
The second half started as it was to continue, with intense, end to end action; every pass was critical, every error in passing was punished. Both teams fought for a breakthrough, but again it was Northend who prevailed after ten minutes, with Timmy Gillan cashing in on a superb solo run. After a characteristically energetic contribution, Max Diamond was substituted in midfield by Owen Doherty, who worked tireless in the second half, disrupting numerous Tollymore initiatives and passing beautifully.
To their credit, Tollymore were simply not going to acquiesce and within a minute they had reduced their deficit to just one goal. The tension could scarcely have been higher as Blues' keeper Thomas Hasson pulled off a series of critical saves, working seamlessly with Kurtis Adger and Kevin McAllister to clear the lines. The Blues had so many tantalising opportunities, with Oliwer Maka and Caelyn Clarke inches from goal, and Timmy Gillan hitting the woodwork.
In the dying minutes, and perhaps in a fair reflection of two very well matched teams, the Co. Down men pressed until their equaliser came. In spite of valiant efforts from Northend to press home their advantage, a great game ended with the spoils divided.
Panel: T Hasson, K Adger, J Mark, M Diamond, C Clarke, O Maka, O Doherty, K McAllister (c), T Gillan, F Connon
Northend Youth 2 Dromara 3 Shield Saturday 30th September 2017
Keen to resume winning form, and anxious to make a positive start in the Shield competition in Lisburn, the young men in Blue made a vigorous start, pressing hard on the
Dromara defence. However, the Co. Down lads held fast, and once settled, launched their own forays, with the Northend Youth defence of Justin Mark, Kurtis Adger and Kevin McAllister battling hard. Goalkeeper Thomas Hasson saw sustained pressure over the first 15 minutes of the game, managing to exclude a couple of very credible efforts.
In the run-up to half-time, the Blues' midfield team of Owen Doherty, Oliwer Maka and Timmy Gillan strung together nicely, somewhat against the run of play, leaving Daniel Patterson to clinch the opening score for Northend.The interval came as a relief, and whilst a goal up, the lads knew there was no margin for complacency. Half time 1-0
Some very effective passing once again opened up a Blues' assault, and Daniel Patterson was there to consolidate his very impressive season's haul with a resounding second
goal. But the tense atmosphere of the game remained. Somehow, Dromara were not cowed and looked increasingly threatening. Caelyn Clarke came within a whisker of
threading through to a poised Daniel on several occasions.
After 10 minutes of the second half, with the lads seemingly having exhausted their reserves, Dromara bounced right back with two rapid goals. The discomfort among Blues'
spectators was now palpable, as valiant efforts by Jake, now in midfield, just couldn't getthe balance of possession. The Northend back line failed to interdict a final surge. Only a frantically outstretched Thomas could save the day now… but it wasn't to be. Quite simply, a gritty, resilient Dromara held their nerve and turned the game around. Full time 2-3
Panel: T Hasson, K Adger (c), J Mark, J McKillop, C Clarke, O Maka, O Doherty, T Gillan, K McAllister, D Patterson
Lisburn Distillery v Northend Youth Saturday 16th September 2017
A spirited performance against Distillery saw the U12 Youth team deliver a comprehensive victory at The Rec. With three Blues' goals in each half, travelling fans were treated to a great show of passing football, more than worth the diesel. A team performance in every sense, with a clean sheet, and a fusillade of goals, nothing was left in the dressing room. Justin Mark, Kevin McAllister and Kurtis Adger were impregnable in defence. Max Diamond, Oliver Maka, Owen Doherty, Jake McKillop and Finn Connon were commanding in mid-field, and Daniel Patterson and Caelyn Clarke masterful in attack. A brace each from Clarke and Patterson, one from Connon, and a simply sublime, looping drive from Adger further consolidated an auspicious start to the season. Sure handling, timely advances and great distribution from Thomas Hasson helped hammer home the victory. The scoring was completed by Finn Connon, just reward for tenacious efforts throughout the match. The result doesn't to justice to a very sporting and courageous Lisburn Distillery.
Panel: T Hasson, K Adger, J Marks, J McKillop, M Diamond, C Clarke, O Maka, O Doherty, K McAllister, D Patterson, F Connon
Northend Youth v Hillsborough Tigers Saturday 9th September
The second fixture against Hillsborough in as many weeks, today's match was indeed a game of two halves. Despite a half-time deficit, and deteriorating weather, the Northend lads were to bounce back and unleash an avalanche of goals to secure their second win at Lisburn.
The first half saw two well-matched sides wrestling to get a toehold, with Daniel Patterson and Caelyn Clarke up front, and Timmy Gillen in midfield, not quite converting some fine efforts. The Blues' engine just wasn't firing on all cylinders, and after 20 minutes of play, Hillsborough broke through and took the lead.
Conceding a goal jolted the lads into action, and within five minutes Timmy Gillen had driven home an equaliser. Alas, the boost was to be short-lived, with a stranded Thomas Hasson picking the ball out of his net less than a minute later. Gritty determination from Owen Doherty in midfield held the opposition at bay, and when it came, the halftime whistle was welcomed.
The second half brought with it heavy rain, but a completely re-energised Northend. Within five minutes Daniel Patterson brought the sides level, immediately lifting the entire squad. Hillsborough were suddenly faced with a challenge, and stepped up a gear, sensing the result was far from certain.
The remainder of the second half saw superb, tenacious defending from Kurtis Adger and Kevin McAllister, coordinated as ever by Justin Mark at full back, who provided thoughtful clearances and drove much of the play forward. Jake McKillop joined the midfield partnership of Timmy Gillen and Max Diamond, effectively thwarting a number of Hillsborough forays.
His confidence restored, Daniel Patterson went on to score three further goals in the space of seven minutes - a proud father looking on :)
With the wind now behind them, the Blues dominated and demonstrated the only response to being a goal down is to get out and strike back. Caelyn Clarke, Kurtis Adger, Max Diamond and Justin Mark all came within an ace of adding to the goal haul.
Panel: T Hasson, K Adger, C Clarke, M Diamond, O Doherty, T Gillen (c), J Mark, K McAllister, J McKillop, D Patterson