Northend United 1 Chimney Corner 2 Saturday 11th December 2021
Another cold wet Saturday morning in Lisburn saw the young blues get the opportunity to avenge their Cup exit to the strong well organised Chimney Corner side. As always another highly contested affair, with little between the sides, but unfortunate for Northend they came out the wrong side of a single goal victory.
The match kicked off with intensity and verocity from the outset. The ball was moving round like a hot potato at times and no team could get settled and gain control. Chimney Corner however showed better intent with a few incisive passes through the middle to their nimble centre forward, who was running off the back of the Northend central pairing at pace, but young keeper Lavelle had it under control and was quickly off his line. Lavelle looked confident today with some very good handling also, early on. However, Northend didn’t look at the races in general early on and they began to lose shape. There was also a drop off in intensity and they began backing off Chimney Corner. Chimney Corner took advantage with a quickly taken smart throw in behind the Northend defence and quickest to react was the young Chimney Corner striker who easily got through one on one and calmly slotted home. Northend did react to this setback and with Jamieson coming on to the midfield added a bit of steel and also nullified the attacking threat of the big number 10. Northend began setting up attacks and McGarel, Da Prato and McFerran showing some good interplay in the right side of the pitch. McGarel’s presence on the pitch added a cutting edge up top. He looked like he was up for this game showing aggression and intent. This was developed into a good move on the edge of the box when McGarel rode one challenge and then moved the ball from his left to his right side to fire home and bring the match level. Northend also got a break before the half end when a Chimney Corner goal was judged to be offside to the consternation of the Corner duggout. Half time 1-1
The second half was again equally contested with both sides having a number of chances. Scott Kerr was having a stormer at the back using his recovery pace to hunt down any Chimney Corner attacks. This included a goal line clearance. On each occasion he also showed composure and made good use of the ball in possession. Chimney Corner pressure was building. A corner from the left side was met by Kian O’Neill, who was having another brilliant game. Unfortunately, the ball was flicked on to the back post where it was met by an unmarked Chimney Corner player for a tap in. Northend tried their best to recover and Jay Jamieson’s driving runs were creating panic in the heart of the Corner Defence. Drysdale was also making aggressive weaving runs. However, the packed corner defence seemed to always get a foot in to spurn a number of Northend chances. It just looked to be one of those days for the Northenders. When they were able to breach the Corner rearguard the big shot stopper always seemed to be in the right place. One final chance for the blues was fired into the top corner by McGarel. The goal bound shot was met at full stretch by the big keeper who not only made the save but kept the ball in his hands to ensure the victory. A number of good performances today throughout the team but the standout player was young Scott Kerr who looked accomplished in a new role in the centre of defence. Well done all. Full time 1-2
Man of The Match: Scott Kerr
Panel: C Lavelle, A Pekala, K O’Neill, H Pekala (c) S Kerr, J Jamieson, N Patenall, E Lavelle, C Da Prato, S McArdle, E Drysdale, C King, D Morrow, L Barnett, S McFerran, K McGarel
Northend United 6 Castlewellan Town 0 Saturday 4th December
A cold wet start at Barbour pitches, however nothing was going to dampen the enthusiasm of the young Blues who took the key message from the team talk straight onto the pitch. This was a day for aggressive pressure and to play passing football on the front foot. They executed the plan to the letter not giving Castlewellan a second to compose themselves and in the end finished this tie at a canter with their first three league points in the bag.
From the first whistle, Northend were rampant pressing from the front with striker McFerran showing his intent and that the team meant business today. For most of the half Northend were camped in the Castlewellan third using the wind to their advantage and not letting the pressure drop for a second. Lavelle and Da Prato were snapping at the heels of the Castlewellan midfield and were using some incisive passes to good effect finding spaces and setting up attack after attack. The deadly duo of McGarel and McFerran were on point with great link and hold up play leaving the Castlewellan defence scratching their heads at times. McFerran broke the deadlock with great composure in front of goal and not long after he scored his first, he was off celebrating a brace after a rifled finish. Many of the attacks were being setup down the left with great composure from Kian O’Neill building from the back and captain of the day Dylan Morrow playing telling balls, one after another. This pressure down the left soon told when a quick throw in from O’Neill was launched into the box high over the Castlewellan defence and into the path of the on-running marksman McFerran, who wasn’t going to miss and calmly slotted low passed the keepers right to earn his hat-trick. Not long after, O’Neill nearly turned from provider to scorer with a 30-yard screamer, which whistle passed the top right hand corner. The young blues were soon playing samba football and a deftly placed curler with the outside of the right boot from midfielder Da Prato was met on the left by winger Morrow who fired back post to be met first time by King, however the young keeper managed somehow to tip the goal bound attempt over. The Northend back four had little to do but everything that came there way was met with calmness, composure and they kept recycling the possession and pressure. Jay Jamieson was having a stormer in the middle, winning the battle with partner Lavelle and began to drive at the heart of the defence. His attacking play was soon met with an opportunity on the edge of the box and Jamieson struck a thunderbolt sweetly, giving the Castlewellan shot stopper no chance. The half ended with in form striker McFerran grabbing yet another. Half Time 5-0
In the second half Castlewellan tried to make a fist of it and created a couple of chances which were dealt with well by keeper Lavelle who although had little to do was determined he was given nothing today. Castlewellan hearts were soon broken when Jamieson slotted through Mcferran. Shea had the confidence to get the shot away early on his left side only to see it saved, but he was not going to give the keeper a chance with the second attempt, which he rifled in with his right. Castlewellan resistant was broken at this point and the second half ended in a procession of Northend chances. McGarel despite his good all round play looked like it wasn’t to be his day when a number of chances were spurned or saved by the keeper. Jamieson though was on fire today in a new role and nearly added a second, which was saved on the line, only for the one-yard maestro King to tap home to complete another good day at the office. Young Lucas was also having a stormer on the left and he was beating the right back for fun getting to the bye line time after time. His performance was capped when after a strong run he beat two players to slot home clinically. Ethan Drysdale had a similar performance on the right wing capping his performance with a goal and McFerran completed the route with a double hat-trick. Some really strong performances today with McArdle and Kerr looking a class double act at the back alongside the consistency of O’Neill. Midfield and wingmen were also on top but performance of the day goes to young McFerran whose attitude summed that of the team. He was aggressive, selfless, showed composure, hard work and reaped the rewards with a bagful of goals. Well done all. Full time 6-0
Man of The Match: Shea McFerran
Panel: C Lavelle, A Pekala, K O’Neill, H Pekala, S Kerr, J Jamieson, N Patenall, E Lavelle, C Da Prato, S McArdle, E Drysdale, C King, D Morrow (c), L Barnett, S McFerran, K McGarel
Northend United 2 Chimney Corner 3 Saturday 20th November 2021
First time out at Ballymacoss pitches for the 2009s but it was heartbreak today in knockout football for the second week in a row. A very highly contested fixture was edged by Chimney Corner who came from behind to win 3-2 and were worth their victory showing desire from start to finish.
Conditions were perfect for a well-anticipated affair. Chimney Corner started the quicker of the two teams and put the young blues under pressure from the off with some outstanding kicking from the young keeper which was turning defence into attack in an instant. The Northend defence found it very difficult to live with Chimney Corner’s big number 10 who was bullying the central defenders with ease. However, Northend started getting some joy down the left by playing out from the back with Adrian Pekala and Lucas Barnett linking well to bring Northend up the pitch. This tactic paid off after a sustained period of pressure in the Chimney corner third. Corey king and Shea McFerran charged a clearance from the keeper which saw Shea’s block roll into an empty net to take the lead. Chimney Corner responded well with more direct football, playing to their strengths and the big attacker Domnhall rolled his man to break free and tie the match before the half end. Half time 1-1
Northend were much more competitive after the break and begun on the front foot creating chances for the front two and the Chimney Corner keeper did well to make a number of saves including using every inch of his huge frame to tip over a goal bound Corey King lob attempt. McArdle and Lavelle were dominating the midfield battle and starting to set the play. Young Da Prato had moved from the centre out wide in the midfield and was seeing much of the ball producing telling delivery, which was waiting to be put away. Somewhat against the run of play chimney Corner broke on the Northend defence. They were allowed to setup the play too easy without pressure on the ball. They moved the ball wide and some timid defending allowed a free crossed shot which aided by the wind drifted high above the Northend keeper and into the top corner to take the lead. Northend fought back hard and created a number of openings. Finally, one was put away. McArdle beat a player on the edge of the box and played a killer ball into McFerran who with a great first touch calmly slotted the ball past the big shot stopper to earn his brace. The young blues tails were up and having the balance of play and chances looked the likely victors. However, a mix-up at the back and a miskicked panicked clearance gifted Chimney Corner the lead, a simple tap into an empty net. The boys looked dejected after all their effort but weren’t prepared to let it slip without a fight. Northend went to three at the back pushing winger Drysdale up top in search of an equaliser and created a number of openings to level the match. In the dying minutes, they looked to have done just that. The best bit of attacking play of the match saw another slipped ball to McFerran and the clinical Northend marksman was in bearing down on goal. Shea was just about to complete his hat-trick of the day but as he pulled the trigger, the referee sounded the final whistle to the rapturous relief of the Chimney Corner bench and the consternation of the travelling support and young blues. It just was not to be on the day. Chimney Corner earned their victory and are wished well for their semi-final. The majority of the Northend best performers were at the top end of the pitch with McFerran and King standing out and were well supported by Scott Kerr who is integrating into this side very quickly. Full time 2-3
Man of the Match: Corey King
Panel: C Lavelle, A Pekala, K O’Neill, J Jamieson, H Pekala, N Patenall, L Barnett, E Lavelle, C Da Prato, E Drysdale (c) , S McArdle, S McFerran, S Kerr, C King, D Morrow
Lisburn Distillery 2 Northend United 1 Saturday 6th November 2021
First week of Lisburn League 1 saw the newly promoted Northend Blues step up to take on Lisburn Distillery. A very wet and blustery day saw the kick-off brought forward due to conditions and the wind and rain certainly had its impact on the game. However, both teams settled in well and tried to get the ball down and play football.
The first half was a very even affair with both sides having their chances. Playing uphill and into the wind Northend initially struggled to get out of their own half but played the ball well through the thirds to carve out a few opportunities. It wasn't long before this paid dividends when another clever ball slipped in behind the defence by Kian McGarel saw his striking partner Shea McFerran bear down on goal. The Distillery keeper was quick off his line, but McFerran held off two defenders and rounded the keeper to fire home from a tight angle to take the lead. Northend pushed again for a second and were gaining momentum and pressure especially down the right-hand side with winger Drysdale. However, two much deliberation on the ball saw Lisburn regain possession and a swift incisive counterattack was finished off by the Lisburn distillery Striker low into the corner from outside the box. With the wind at their backs Lisburn found much possession in the Northend half and gained a number of corners and free kicks before the half end. However, stand in goalkeeper Jay Jamieson valiantly ensured no further goals. The centre-back used his kicking ability to get the Northenders back up the pitch time and again. Half time 1-1
With the wind at their backs and playing downhill in the second half the Northenders looked favourite to win this game. However, they were unable to use this advantage and a number of counter attacks and opportunities were lost to offside and the run of the ball. The Northend side had the balance of chances, but the Distillery keeper was hard to beat and never looked overly troubled. Momentum was switching and favoured the young Lisburn side who were that bit more aggressive in the tackle and tiredness from the Northend side saw them give up possession too easy at times. The Lisburn possession finally paid off when a break down the left side was crossed and finished home from close range giving the stand in keeper Jamieson no chance. This was indeed to be the winning goal. Northend huffed and puffed but looked out of ideas. They didn't completely give up and not before the end young McGarel broke free one on one with the outrushing keeper. It looked likely to be a goal but the young keeper closed down quickly and was able to make the save. However, the ball was handled outside the box which gave Northend one final chance. The free kick on the edge of the box was laid back to McGarel who fired into the top corner of the net only to be foiled again by the classy distillery shot stopper. A number of good performances today including a very battling performance by the captain of the day McFerran who led from the front. Also, a fine debut performance from new signing Scott Kerr. However, the plaudits go to stand in keeper Jay Jamieson who didn't look out of place in his debut between the sticks making a number of fine saves and clearances. Full time 1-2
Player of the Match: Jay Jamieson
Panel: J Jamieson, A Pekala, K O’Neill, H Pekala, N Patenall, C Da Prato, S McArdle, E Drysdale, C King, K Mc Garel, S Mc Ferran (c), L Barnett, S Kerr