Banbridge Town 1 Northend Youth 2 Saturday 2nd November 2019
The Blues travelled to Lisburn to face table toppers Banbridge Town. The boys started brightly against the only team in the league with a 100% record.
Good work from Michael O'Donnell down the right created an early chance for Jack Nellins but his shot was off target. The early pressure paid dividends when Mongan shot from the edge of the box beat a flat footed Banbridge keeper. Almost straight from the kick off, Banbridge found space down the right, but Mason Bankhead dived bravely at the feet of the Banbridge striker to deny the equaliser. Within five minutes it was 2, when Jamie Boyd's through ball set Jakub Kaczmarek clear, his pace leaving 3 defenders behind and his low powerful finish found the net. Further chances followed for Luke Campbell, Jack Nellins and Kaczmarek. With 2 mins to go in the first half Banbridge pulled one back from a set piece. Half time 1-2
The second half saw the Blues create a few good chances with Marc Agnew, Jack Stewart and Kaczmarek going close. The Blues defence were under sustained pressure for the last 15 minutes of the match but stood strong with Mason Bankhead producing two outstanding saves.
This wasn't the free-flowing football of the previous week but a gritty performance from a team growing in confidence. Bankhead was superb in goals pulling off a string of fine saves, the back 4 of Boyd, McKay, McFadden and Greer were solid throughout. Stewart and O'Donnell industrious in midfield and Kaczmarek was his usual threatening self and worked hard when he moved to midfield. Full time 1-2
Panel: M Bankhead, J Greer, F McKay, G McFadden, J Boyd, J Stewart, L Campbell, M O'Donnell, J Nellins, J Kaczmarek, M Agnew, J Magill, M Mongan
Northend United 7 Strangford 1 Saturday 26th October 2019
After a run of disappointing results in recent weeks the u13 Youths found the perfect tonic with a scintillating display against new boys Strangford.
The blues were first out of the blocks with O'Donnell cutting in from the right and firing home from inside the box. Lifted by the early goal the boys created a host of chances with Stewart, Campbell, Nellins and Kaczmarek all going close. Against the run of play Strangford were level when a long ball deceived the otherwise solid blues defence. Good work by O'Donnell down the right found Kaczmarek and his cross was met at the back post by Stewart who made no mistake. Half-time 2-1
The second half started at a frantic pace with the blues taking a grip on the game. Ten minutes in Campbell played a neat one two with McKay his through ball found Kaczmarek with the striker making no mistake with his low shot.
With confidence high McKay picked up the ball in his own half and set off on a mazy run leaving 4 in his wake just outside the box his quick change of feet left another defender helpless and his curling left foot effort found the bottom corner. The boys were now dominating all over the park, quick thinking by Greer his short corner to McKay who stepped inside his man and fired into the top corner from the 18 yards. When Smyth set off on a powerful run out of defence it looked certain another superb individual goal was on but the Strangford keeper denied him at the last with a superb block.
With Stewart, McKay and Campbell dominating the middle of the park and Nellins and O'Donnell superb out wide the chances flowed. Stewart popped up at the back post for his second and could've had a 3rd moments later with a cheeky back heel. With 14 mins remaining Agnew got his debut with Magill and Mongan also entering the fray. Mongan was to finish off the scoring with a low shot in injury time.
This was a superb performance with Boyd, Smyth, McKay & Greer dominant in defence. McFadden was excellent in a holding role, the middle 4 of O'Donnell, Stewart, Campbell & Nellins positive from the kick off. Full Time 7-1
Panel: M Bankhead, J Boyd, F McKay (2), E Smyth, J Greer, G McFadden, M O'Donnell (1), J Stewart(2), L Campbell, J Nellins & Kaczmarek (1), M Agnew, M Mongan(1), & J Magill
Northend Youth 2 Lisburn Rovers 6 Saturday 12th October 2019
The Blues started slowly in this encounter with neither side creating any clear opportunities in the opening 10 minutes. Some excellent play from McKay and Stewart the latter's perfect through ball setting Kaczmarek clear only to see his low shot well saved. A sliced clearance in defence left the blues flat footed and the Rovers striker nipped in to beat the on rushing Bankhead. Half time 0-1
The second half saw the blues concede 2 early goals through individual errors. Eddie Smyths free kick was spilled by the Rovers keeper and Kaczmarek stabbed home the rebound. A 5-minute spell saw the blues go close again but then with men committed forward they conceded another 2 goals in as many minutes. A late consolation goal from Nellins didn't lift spirits. A very flat performance with only McKay, McFadden, Stewart and Smyth showing anything like what's required. Final Score 6-2
Panel: M Bankhead, J Greer, F McKay, G Donnelly, Boyd, J Stewart, M O'Donnell, G McFadden, E Smyth, C Cully, J Kaczmarek, J Nellins, M Mongan, J Magill
Northend Youth 1 Lisburn Distillery 2 Saturday 5th October 2019
After a couple of disappointing displays, the management team were looking a reaction and it certainly came to pass in this performance against the unbeaten Lisburn boys.
The Blues welcomed back Garron Donnelly for his first start. It was Lisburn who created a couple of early chances, but they found the Blues solid in defence. On 10 minutes an over hit cross from the right dropped in over the outstretched Bankhead.
The Blues responded immediately with Stewart setting Kaczmarek free, but his low shot was turned away by the keeper. The new centre back pairing of McKay and Donnelly flanked by Greer and Boyd looked assured as a unit. Good work down the right by O'Donnell his cross met by Kaczmarek but again the keeper was equal to it turning his first time shot around the post. Then McKay went close with a free kick. Lisburn gained a foothold for the remainder of the half but found the Blues a tough nut to crack. Indeed, it took a mistake to double their lead as Bankhead's fine save rebounded off Greer and into his own net. Half Time 0-2
The second half was probably the best football the Blues have played in a long-time, dominating possession and creating a host of chances. Great composure in defence from McKay found Stewart in the middle of the park who spread the ball to O'Donnell on the wing, he skipped past his man and curled a perfect pass through to Kaczmarek who made no mistake from just inside the box.
All over the park the Blues were winning the battles, Kaczmarek's battle with the giant Lisburn centre half was worth the entrance fee alone, both players relishing the physical challenge but remaining sporting throughout. The last 15 minutes saw the Blues create a few good chances only to be denied by an excellent Lisburn keeper. A late chance saw Stewart go close with a header, but it wasn't to be the result the performance merited. Full time 1-2
There were fine displays all over the park, Greer was tenacious and committed at right back, the new centre half pairing of Donnelly and McKay was outstanding the latter having probably his best game in a long time. Stewart was dominant in the middle of the park with O'Donnell always threatening down the right. Kaczmarek gave the Lisburn defence a torrid time from start to finish.
Panel: M Bankhead, J Greer, F McKay, G Donnelly, J Boyd, J Stewart, M O'Donnell, N Porter, S Smyth, J Nellins, J Kaczmarek, C Cully, M Mongan, J Magill
Northend United 1 Hillsborough Colts 4 Saturday 28th September 2019
In a lively game the Blues created the lion share of the chances with McKay, Smyth and Stewart going close. A great through ball from Greer sent Kaczmarek clear out pacing two defenders to fire home from 6 yards. Further chances were thwarted by an excellent Hillsborough keeper. On the stroke of half time the sides were level when Smyth's attempted clearance crossed his own line. Half time 1-1
The second half started at a frantic pace with the Hillsborough side on top. A moment of indiscipline from Nellins led to a penalty and the Blues found themselves 2-1 down. Despite the best efforts of Smyth and McKay driving forward the boys couldn't get an equaliser. Two late goals for Hillsborough put rather harsh look on the final score.
It was a lack lustre performance with Bankhead keeping the score down with another good performance in goals. Boyd, Smyth, Greer and McKay worked tirelessly and Porter in only his second game showed some positive touches. Full time 1-4
Panel: M Bankhead, J Greer, J Nellins, E Smyth, J Boyd, J Stewart, F McKay, M Mongan, N Porter, M O'Donnell, J Kaczmarek and J Magill
Northend United 3 Glendowan 3 Saturday 21st September 2019
Northend Youths recalling a couple of players to the panel and a debut start for Noah Porter started the game sluggish. On 10 minutes, Glendowan took the lead with a finish that gave Bankhead no chance. This goal kick started Northend and within a few mins the impressive Kaczmarek rounded the keeper to equalise. Minutes later Kaczmarek had an excellent chance to make it 2-1 however the keep was quick to clear his lines. Further chances for Northend appeared however it went in 1 each at the break. Half time 1-1
After the interval Northend took a deserved lead through a Kaczmarek rebound. Eddie Smyth also went close with 3 free kicks with the opposition keeper making some excellent saves. With Northend looking for an important 3rd goal however a counter attack from Glendowan ended with an equaliser. Glendowan had a further opportunity with Bankhead making a fine save. Seb Smyth, Jack Nellins and Jackson Greer started to drive forward and press Glendowan into their half and further chances for O'Donnell, Mongan and McKay went agonising close. Stewart in the centre of the park was breaking up play extremely well and a through ball from Josh Magill allowed Kaczmarek to get his 2nd hat trick of the season. Further chances went wide for Northend and Glendowan pegged Northend back with minutes remaining. An excellent game with some good performances and game time for all the boys Full time 3-3
Panel: M Bankhead, J Greer, S Smyth, E Smyth, J Nellins, J Stewart, F McKay, M O'Donnell, N Porter, C Cully, J Kaczmarek, M Mongan, J Magill
Northend Youth 4 Portadown Youth 6 Saturday 14th September 2019
Northend were down to the bare bones for this match but started on the front foot against the fancied Portadown Youth, who had played in the National League the previous season. Missing Jack Nellins, Eddie Smyth and Leo Smyth, the Blues were always up against it and the experience of the Mid-Ulster side began to shine through.
Goalscorers for the Blues on the day included a brace from Jackson Greer and others from Jakub Kaczmarek and Michael O'Donnell.
Panel: M Bankhead, J Boyd, S Smyth, J Stewart, F McKay, M Mongan, C Cully, M O'Donnell, J Kaczmarek, J Greer and J Magill
Northend Youth 6 Lower Maze 1 Saturday 7th September 2019
The Blues took their first step into 11 a side football against a well organised Lower Maze outfit. The early exchanges were honours even with both teams having chances.
On 14 minutes Kaczmarek squeeszed home from close range to put the Blues one up. McKay, Stewart and Eddie Smyth were becoming more influential and good work down the right by McKay set Kaczmarek through his powerful effort giving the keeper no chance.
A moment of hesitation in defence followed by a sliced clearance allowed Lower Maze to pull a goal back just before half time. Half time 2-1
The second half started at a frantic pace with Cully, Mongan and Kaczmarek all going close. The blues defence were growing in confidence allowing Eddie Smyth to push forward, when the ball dropped to him just outside the box from a corner the centre half fired a thunderous shot to put the blues further ahead. The pressure continued with McKay making it 4 from a free kick then the winger grabbed his second after clever foot work and a great strike from the edge of the box. The boys were enjoying the game and in the last 15 mins played some free-flowing football. Kaczmarek went close a few times but was denied by an excellent keeper. With 3 mins to go the striker grabbed his hat trick when he outpaced 3 defenders to slot home.
This was a excellent start to the season, Blackhead was assured in goals on his debut, Greer, Seb Smyth and Eddie Smyth solid in defence. Stewart dominated the middle of the park, with Cully and Mongan industrious alongside him. McKay always looked a threat with his surging runs and range of passing linking well with the pace of Kaczmarek. Final score 6-1
Panel: M Bankhead, J Boyd, S Smyth, E Smyth, J Greer,J Stewart, F McKay, M Mongan, C Cully, M O'Donnell, J Kaczmarek, L Smyth and J Magill