Northend United 1 Lisburn Youth 4 Saturday 17th November 2018
Northend were pitched against the reigning Lisburn League champions this week and gave an excellent performance with no more than a single goal between the sides until the last ten minutes of the game. The Blues started the game brightly and took the lead after fifteen minutes when Owen Campbell ran onto a through ball from Callum McCann, before rounding the keeper and finishing from a tight angle. The game was being played at a frantic pace, with tackles flying in from all quarters and neither side being prepared to give possession away. Sam McDowell was in impressive form with some great handling to deal with a number of high crosses that were floated into the box and Curtis Wilson looked back to his best at right back with a number of telling challenges. Jack McIlhatton glided past his marker and forced a good save from the Lisburn keeper after twenty minutes. As the half drew towards closure Lisburn were awarded a dubious free-kick on the edge of the area and pulled themselves level with a curling shot into the far corner of the net. Half-time 1-1
The game continued in a similar vein in the second half, both sides were fully committed and working hard to gain any sort of advantage. Tyrone Mitchell and Connor McKenna were both working hard in midfield and Northend dominated possession for the opening ten minutes of the half. Lisburn edged themselves in front at the midpoint of the half, Northend's response was immediate when Conn McCann was unlucky to see his shot smash down from the cross bar and bounce on the wrong side of the goal line. Both sides continued to compete for every ball and as the game entered its final stages Lisburn struck a killer third goal before adding a fourth in the final minutes to put a rather harsh look on the score-line. Full-time 1-4
Panel: S McDowell, C Wilson, D McLaughlin, J Adams, D McKay, C McKenna, T Mitchell, J McIlhatton, O Campbell, K Barr, Callum McCann, Conn McCann, S Crawford
Northend United 8 Lisburn Distillery 2 Saturday 10th November 2018
Northend were in control of this game from the opening whistle of the game and took an early lead after two minutes when Connor McKenna fired home a thirty-yard free-kick. The blues second arrived on seven minutes when Jack McIlhatton lobbed the ball behind the Distillery defence for Owen Campbell to slide his shot past the keeper. Distillery fought back and scored from a well worked piece of play with a diving header at the back post. Tyrone Mitchell and Connor McKenna took control of the game again in midfield and the blues hit the woodwork on four occasions during the next ten minutes. The pressure eventually paid off on twenty minutes when Jack McIlhatton beat three men inside the box before laying off an unselfish pass to Kai Barr who smashed home a crisp shot from twelve yards. Jack Adams and David Magill were both having an impressive game at the heart of defence and looked more than comfortable in dealing with Distillery's attackers. Owen Campbell grabbed his second on twenty-five minutes, outpacing the Lisburn defence and powering home a right foot shot from the edge of the area. Jack McIlhatton got a well-deserved goal on the stroke of half-time when he ran onto a deep cross from David McKay at the back post and coolly finished from a tight angle. Half-time 5-1
With the result beyond doubt the blues tried playing in a slightly different formation in the second half and several players were able to get some game time in unfamiliar positions. Callum McCann fitted well into a right midfield role and Conn McCann supported Owen Campbell up front as a second striker. The Lisburn keeper was in outstanding form and denied Northend on several occasions in the opening ten minutes. It was only a matter of time before the blues scored again and this time it was Conn McCann who forced a good save from the keeper and then reacted quickly to force the loose ball over the line. The Ballymena boys were playing some good football and it was completely against the run of play when Distillery scored their second with a wickedly deflected free-kick. In the final ten minutes Kai Barr set up Owen Campbell for his hat trick and Tyrone Mitchell made some room for himself inside the box before bending a shot beyond the keeper. Full-time 8-2
Man of the Match: Owen Campbell's hat-trick deserves a special mention - but each boy played his part.
Panel: S McDowell, S Crawford, D McLaughlin, J Adams, D Magill, D McKenna, C McKenna, T Mitchell, J McIlhatton, O Campbell, K Barr, Callum McCann, Conn McCann, C Wilson
Northend United 1 Windmill Stars 2 Saturday 3rd November 2018
Northend entertained Windmill Stars in a closely matched cup quarter-final, with the blustery conditions meaning that neither side really gained a firm grip on the game. Northend started the game a little slowly and had to work hard for ant time on the ball. Windmill edged ahead on twenty minutes with a swift counter attack following a Northend corner which saw an almighty goal mouth scramble before the ball finally squirmed over the line. The Blues responded well and David McKay almost levelled the score five minutes later but saw half volley sail inches wide of the far post. There were few further chances in the remainder of the half with both sides battling hard for possession. Half-time 0-1
The Ballymena side started the second half in better form and pushed Windmill back into their own half for long spells of the game. Like the first half, clear cut chances were hard to come by as both defences were alive to any threat that came their way. Windmill scored their second of the game with ten minutes remaining after a loose ball fell to one of their players in the goal mouth. The Blues responded immediately when Owen Campbell finished off a fight a good passing move with a crisp finish from fourteen yards. The game finally came alive in the final ten minutes as Northend went in search of the equaliser. With two minutes remaining Tyrone Mitchell looked to be through on goal, but the Windmill keeper bravely dived at the midfielder's feet to keep his side in the game. Full time 1-2
A good game of football between two very evenly matched sides which could have gone either way right down to the final whistle. A great effort by everyone today.
Panel: S McDowell, S Crawford, D McLoughlin, D Magill, D McKay, J Adams, C McKenna, T Mitchell, O Campbell, Conn McCann, L Hector, Callum McCann, K Barr, J McIlhatton