Ballymena, N. Ireland
Est 2003

Northend United 1 Glentoran Youth 2   Saturday 17th February 2024

An epic night under the lights in first class facilities at the Greenisland FC stadium under great conditions. This would be a battle Royale between the leading two teams in the division and the game would not disappoint. The teams couldnít be split until five minutes before the end when Northend lost by the odd goal in three in a game where the scoreline could as easy have been the reverse.
Glentoran started on the front foot and were easy on the eye showing plenty of dynamism on either flank with supporting runs being made from the full back area. Both Northend full backs of Pekala and OíNeill were kept on their toes but did really well for the most part being supported by Devlin and McErlean who tracked runners and defended manfully. Both Kerr and Pekala at centre half had to come out and defend well and Lavelle was required to pull off a great save with his feet early doors. However, Northend started to grow into the game and deal with Glentoranís early bluster. Captain Lavelle started to get his foot on the ball in the centre and Jamieson was working exceptionally hard as a lone striker pressuring and harrying and fighting well. This allowed McGarel to come deep and start to get on the ball and link the play. A great Pekala delivery was deftly controlled by McGarel on his right, before the centre half had time to intervene, Kian move the ball onto his left with another brilliant touch, creating a yard of space and fashioning an opening. Without hesitation he smashed the ball near post with the laces beating the keeper. However, the ball smashed off the inside of the post, along the line and back off the inside of the other post and into the keeperís hands, just as Jamieson was pouncing on the second ball. Everyone in the stadium thought it was a goal. Northend continued to grow into the game and the side-line made a number of changes to keep the team fresh in a very draining night. Duncan, Drysdale, MacNamee and Barnett were full of energy from the bench and Northend started to control the game. Barnett found Devlin down the left who beat his man to the ball and got in left-side but his shot was snuffed out wide as he carved out a great opening. Not long after a similar threat from this left sided duo saw a deep Devlin cross to the back post to McErlean which just skimmed off the side of the post. MacNamee started seeing a lot of the ball and showed some nifty footwork in the midfield area as Northend started playing with some style on the front foot. The game delicately balance at half time. Half time 0-0

Northend when out in the second half looking more of the same without making any changes to a side looking in control. However, Glentoran made a slight adjustment playing with three in the centre which left Lavelle outnumbered as the Glens started on the front foot controlling the midfield and overrunning Northend. The Glens number 16 Petkov had pushed forward into a free role meaning Lavelle had to leave danger man Deignan controlling the park supported by captain Moreland who was winning all the ball not allowing Northend out. The Glens got down the left and Petkov shot wide under pressure from Kerr. Northend needed to be alive to the mounting pressure but a misplaced pass in midfield allowed the Glentoran midfielder to force his way into the edge of the area and get a strike off at goal which just hit off the top of the crossbar. The pressure continued to mount as the Glens turned the screw and eventually Craig picked up a breaking ball up on the right and slotted it into the corner past Lavelle to take the lead. The bench reacted quickly to make changes to support this area and help captain Lavelle in the centre. McArdle came on and gave a commanding physical display earning Northend respite and slowly wrestle back control of this tie. It was a highly competitive affair with free flowing attacking football but not many chances as both teams cancelled each other out. Then the chance Northend had been waiting for a breaking ball on the edge of the area was seized upon by captain Lavelle and smashed on the half volley into the corner of the net with ten on the clock. Game on! Northend continued to press for the winner with Devlin and Barnett working well down the left. Devlin was brought down as he tried to get behind and Mcardle stepped up to hit the free kick from about 25 yards. He couldínt have hit it any sweeter and it bent and dipped over the wall past the keepers outstretched arm and down in off the underside of the cross bar. It bounced down off the goal-line but somehow didnít go in. Jamieson came in at the back post with a free header but just got slightly under it and his rebounded header hit off the woodwork again. So unlucky! Northend thought they had won it with five minutes to go. In turn the Glens got the ball forward quickly, a misplaced tackle in the midfield was ceased upon and the ball was played in behind Barnett to goal scorer Craig on the run. Barnett did his best to hold him up as he drove into the box and Lavelle was out in a flash to smother the ball. However, Craig got a deft touch on it ahead of Lavelle and chipped it into the goal mouth. Northend could only watch as the ball bounced over the line and Pekala was pushed over with it as he attempted to clear. This would be the winning goal. A very highly contested game of football to a very high standard between two very good teams. Northend will feel hard done by as they thought they had snatched the victory but instead go home empty handed giving the Glens the advantage in the league. The boys leave the pitch with their heads held high after another unlucky but positive display. Barnett was highlighted for his work rate and energy, always on the front foot and making good use of the ball in wide areas. Full Time 1-2

Man of the Match: Lucas Barnett
Panel: Conor Lavelle, Adrian Pekala, Hubert Pekala, Lucas Barnett, Scott kerr, Kian O Neill, Eoin Lavelle (c), Pearse Devlin, Sam McArdle, Ethan Drysdale, Daniel McErlean, Jay Jamieson, Kian McGarel, Ben Duncan and L Mac Namee.
Northend United 2 Clonduff 2 (Clonduff win on penalties)   Cup Final Saturday 10th February 2024

An epic night under the lights at the Blanchflower stadium would see a highly contested cup final between two well matched teams. The atmosphere was electric as the Northend faithful roared on the young blues to the very end. Clonduff got the better start but Northend came flying back at them. The teams could not be split in ordinary time allowing this game to be decided by the dreaded penalties. No team deserved to be on the losing side in this way.
This game started very similar to their last final with Northend looking very nervous and Clonduff on the front foot winning every contested ball. Northend hadnít learned the lessons of the last game and Clonduffís disruption caused Northend composure to go out the window and they couldnít get the ball down and play football. They kept playing the ball down the middle into the Clonduff central pairing who were winning everything in the air. Clonduff kept getting the ball forward quickly and playing in behind the Northend defensive line to keep them on the turn and under pressure. Finally the pressure told as Pekala was isolated wide left with the Clonduff number 18, from a breaking ball. The Clonduff forward dropped the shoulder and cut inside and smashed a 25 yard belter into the top corner allowing Lavelle no chance. Northend tried to build the play and get McGarel on the ball but the Clonduff midfield and defence were physical and aggressive, allowing no time and space on the ball. McArdle who had been moved up front, beat his man to the ball and flicked the ball in behind to McGarel who was in the clear. The ball wouldnít sit down and the spin on the ball caused hesitation allowing the defender to get back and block the shot. A long OíNeill delivery was then played in behind the defensive line but just got away from Jamieson at the back post and frustration was beginning to creep in. A couple of changes were made to shape and personnel which seemed to give Northend a better foothold in the game and a bit more control. Northendís best opportunity of the half saw a clever Pekala free kick played in between the gap allowing McArdle a run in on goal. Again they just didnít get the bounce of the ball and McArdle was unable to wrap his foot around the ball and get a clean strike at goal and it was deflected wide. For the most part the back three of A Pekala, H Pekala and OíNeill were in control with Lavelle alive to sweep up the bits and pieces and McErlean sitting in front protecting the back three. Just before the half end another speculative ball was pumped in long from the Clonduff half in over the Northend defensive line. Lavelle came out to meet it but was undone by the bounce off the artificial surface. He put two hands up to catch it as it kicked up off the surface but could only parry it down allowing Clonduff a tap in and a healthy half time lead! Half time 0-2

The coaches rallied the troops at halftime trying to install belief that this trophy was still there for the taking and asked them to go out and give everything. A couple of changes and adjustments seemed to help as well and Northend looked better balanced with three left footers of OíNeill, Barnett and Devlin down the left side and this area was targeted to be exploited. Devlin was on the front foot not giving Clonduff any time and space on the ball and Barnett was snapping at his heels the two interplaying perfectly and putting pressure on that side. Again Jamieson and MacNamee were working the channels well on the other side allowing McGarel a free floating role to come deep and get his foot on the ball. Devlin had the beating of his man down the left and a great whipped ball to the back post was just missed by Jamieson coming in on the run. Northend had them rattled and the crowd responded lifting the team further. Then Devlin come in through the middle winning the ball high up beating his man and was taken down and fell into the penalty area. The referee awarded a free kick on the edge of the area. McGarel who now had the bit between his teeth stepped up. Everyone could sense what was coming next as the keeper got his wall organised. McGarel whipped a ball low and hard around the wall, keeper side. The keeper got down to it and got hands onto it but couldnít stop it going into the bottom corner. The Northend faithful roared. McGarel jumped and punched the air! Game on! Everyone could sense the tide was turning and McGarel got on the ball again not long after the restart. From inside his own half he drove at the heart of the Clonduff team with a heightened sense of belief and purpose. Clonduff came flying in with tackle after tackle trying to take him out but like a matador her rode challenge after challenge a la Maradonna í86 world cup and he continued to run at the heart of them. He danced with twinkle toes taking some heavy hits but couldnít be knocked off the ball rounding six players. At the first sight of goal he unleashed a knuckleball arrowing into the top corner. It went one way and then turned back towards goal allowing the keeper to fly across goal and pull off a wonder save at full stretch. He could only parry it. The whole stadium stood in amazement at gasps of disbelief at the brilliance, so much so that no one anticipated or reacted to the second ball. Finally Devlin made an attempt but the keeper just got there ahead of him as he was about to bury the equaliser. The noise of the stadium was now at full volume and belief was high. In a panic Clonduff went to five at the back and tried to exert pressure back on Northend. Drysdale was fired up and on the front foot winning everything in the midfield. Then a great bit of attacking play saw Drysdale put a great slipped ball in behind the Clonduff blocked defence and wide left of the keeper. Devlin was onto it in a flash and there was a footrace between him and the keeper. There was only ever going to be one winner and not only did Pearce get first to the ball, he had the composure to slide the ball back across goal past the keeper and into the far corner. 2-2! The roof nearly came off the place. There was a sense that this was Northendís night and the atmosphere was electric in the cold night air. Again attacking play down the left saw Barnett tea up Devlin who put another great delivery flashing across goal but nobody on the end. Then McGarel picked up the loose ball and drove again at the defence as he beat his man he was completely smashed from behind resulting in a booking. McGarel jumped in the air knowing that he had them on the ropes. A Pekala delivery was put into the box but well defended and lines cleared by Clonduff. It found the feet of their number 14 and as he twisted and turned he got a shot away over the bar showing that they were still a threat themselves. With five minutes to go another Devlin delivery was picked up by McGarel in the box. He controlled it perfectly and smashed his volley goal bound. A Clonduff player threw himself in front of the ball, brilliantly blocking the goal bound effort. However, it broke to Jamieson on the edge of the six-yard box for a golden opportunity and his scuffed effort was blocked but it broke to him again. Jamieson looked like he was going to smash it into the back of the net but he dragged it across goal and couldnít force it over the line. Eventually it bounced to the back stick to Devlin who volleyed another brilliant chance over from five yards. The game was there for the taking but it just wasnít to be and in the end their fate was left in the laps of the Gods with the lottery of penalties. Even then Northend were so unlucky hitting the better penalties. Lavelle came close to saving three, one rebounding off the posts and in off his back. The keeper who hadnít be near any guessed the right way once making the save which was enough to lift the trophy. The boys really didnít deserve to lose the game in this way and earn great credit for a superb second half performance. They leave with their heads held high doing themselves, their families, the coaches and the club very proud. No one could have asked any more of them. Full Time 2-2

Man of the Match: Team Performance
Panel: C Lavelle, A Pekala, H Pekala, L Barnett, K O Neill, E Lavelle (c), P Devlin, S McArdle, E Drysdale, D McErlean, J Jamieson, K McGarel and L Mac Namee
Northend United 3 v St Oliver Plunketts 1  Saturday 27th January 2024

Second game of the week and a return to league football for the pizza parlour U15ís after a successful win on Monday taking them to another league final. The opponents this time Saint Oliver Plunkett in Mallusk. It was Northend who started the game brightly and within three minutes found themselves one up. Good wing play by Jamieson on the right beat his man and picked out McErlean on the edge of the box and with a first time shot, slotted neatly into the opposite corner and give the boys a confident start. As the game went on Northend continued to dominate, wing play was key for the blues, both Barnett and Devlin on the left and Jamieson and MacNamee causing the SOPFC constant trouble and several shots from McGarel narrowly going wide or saved well by the keeper. The boys kept driving forward and when on the turn at the half way line Jamison was fouled. A Pekala stepped up and dropped the perfect ball into the back, McErlean took a great touch and when the ball settled hit the shot and put it past the keeper for his and Northendís second of the half. Defensively the back three of Adrian, Hubert and Kian where solid and shepherded well by Drysdale keeping any real threats from Plunkett to a minimum. However, on the stroke of half time a quick short free kick from Plunkett was quickly fired in and with Northend caught napping, the big Plunkett defender headed into the back of the net and finished the half with a glimmer of hope. Half time 2-1

As expected Plunkett would come out with a bit more fight and determination to try capture something from the game, a quick breakthrough on the right allowed the Plunkett winger to cut inside and hit a shot from twenty yards out only for C Lavelle to pull off a fantastic save. That was the wakeup call for Northend and as they upped the tempo McGarel tortured the Plunkett defence with some quick feet. Northend were getting at Plunkett again only to see a few chances go narrowly wide. A corner kick for Northend was cleared only as far as the 18 yard box which E. Lavelle took down and fired a quick shot on his weaker foot which went narrowly wide. As chances came and went Northend just couldnít find that one goal to kill the game. Plunkett defended well but had little to offer in terms of goal mouth threat other a couple of long range efforts which went wide or were comfortable for Lavelle to hold. The third though did finally come and it was to be the opportunity McGarel was looking for. Taking down a long ball he turned and drove at the Plunkett defence weaving, twisting and turning his player. He found a yard of space and fired on goal. Unluckily for the Plunkett keeper he could only parry the ball but the power was too much and the ball went in for the blues third, finally giving them breathing space they had been fighting hard for. The blues continued pressing but Plunkett held tight for the most of the second half working tirelessly to try keep Northend out. Jamieson on the wing continued to drive on the right. He played a ball inside to McGarel who danced through a couple of Plunkett players and was suddenly brought down inside the box but to the dismay of the side-lines was deemed no foul. Plunkett gave one final push and managed to create a corner. The ball was cleared out but quickly picked up by Plunkett who fired in a close range shot which was brilliantly cleared off the line by Drysdale who sniffed out the danger and cleared the lines. Northend pushed for a fourth but could not find that final outlet and the game petered out. Another three points on the board for the blues to keep up the challenge and finish off a great week for them. Good luck to Plunkett for the rest of the season. McErlean was highlighted as player of the match after a lot of strong play this week. Today he scored a brace and made a massive impact, working tirelessly to get forward and back to defend showing a great engine and work rate. Well done to all the lads today. Full Time 3-1

Man of the Match: Daniel McErlean
Panel: C Lavelle, H Pekala, L Barnett, K O Neill, E Lavelle (c), P Devlin, E Drysdale, D McErlean, J Jamieson, K McGarel and L Mac Namee.
Northend United 3 Carnmoney Colts 0      Monday 22nd January 2024

A cold night under the lights at Crumlin 3G would see the young Blues play their eagerly anticipated league semi-final against Carnmoney Colts. This was a really competitive affair with both teams giving everything to book a place in the final. Northend showed their class in the second half to finish the game in regulation time and march on to their second final in as many months.
Both teams went toe to toe from the off and there was little time and space as both teams pressed aggressively out of possession. Northend tried to make use of the spaces outside with both Devlin and McErlean holding the width well and linking well with McGarel and Jamieson on either flank. However, both Devlin and McErlean had to be alive to the counter which required a high work rate to track back and help cover the central three of Drysdale, OíNeill and Pekala. McArdle and Lavelle were seeing a lot of ball in the centre and they worked hard to drive Northend forward and link with McKay in the centre who was doing a fantastic job with great centre forward play, holding the ball up well and physically strong against the Carnmoney central pairing. Indeed Lavelle took the first opportunity of the match with a shot from range but just wide of the post. It was very congested in the Carnmoney box, Northend finding it very hard to fashion an opening. A snapshot attempt by Jamieson was the first on target but the Carnmoney keeper looked assured and dealt with it competently. Then a piece of brilliance saw McKay turn his man and play a brilliant ball into the feet of McGarel. Somehow, McGarel flicked the ball around the last man and created a yard for an opening. He hit the ball back across goal to what looked like a certain opener but somehow the keeper made a reaction save with an outreached leg to tip it around the post. Carnmoney grew into the game and their direct play in behind the Northend defence was threatening. For the most part Pekala stepped onto their clearances winning every header but when they started playing it in behind, Northend were caught out on occasion by the pace of the Carnmoney front two. Lavelle had to be out of his goal on a number of occasions sharp to make the clearance. Then a long ball in over the top isolated Drysdale as the last man and the centre forward had the run on him. Lavelle was out of goal quickly putting pressure on the ball and forcing the error wide. The bench reacted and made a slight adjustment of personnel which seemed to give them a better foothold. Northend continued to press forward and create openings. A good bit of interplay on the right saw McKay get by the last man but he fired into the side netting with just the keeper to beat. Lavelle then took another attempt from the edge of the area but the keeper was across his area quickly and held onto the ball with a diving catch. The ball was hit long again over the Northend defence and Pekala was bundled over with a push in the back on the halfway. The referee signalled to play on as he hadnít seen the infringement but fortunately Lavelle was out of his goal quickly again to deal with the situation to the consternation and relief of the Northend dugout. With five minutes before the half end it seemed likely it was going to be one of those nights. Then on the 33rd minute McKay put pressure on a clearance and Lavelle was onto the loose ball in a flash. As he had done on the two previous occasions without hesitation he took a strike at goal from the edge of the area. This time it dipped and nestled into the far corner to take the lead just before half time. Very timely! Half time 1-0

Northend were deserved of their lead but knew that the game was in the balance and a big second half was required. Northend were on the front foot from the off and they gave everything back that Carnmoney threw at them, OíNeill and Pekala dominated the middle shutting the door at any attempt to get through, with McErlean pushing down the right not allowing any build of play. Both Barnett and Jamieson were aggressive on the flanks winning everything and linking in well with McGarel and MacNamee. Northend started to turn the screw and dominate possession. McGarel was unplayable at times dancing past tackle after tackle and giving the Carnmoney defenders nightmares at the back. He skipped in through the middle twisting and turning passed two defenders taking the ball wide of goal and getting his shot back across goal but it was well held. Then a great McGarel delivery from a corner was put right on the money but somehow OíNeill and McArdle missed the header by inches to double the lead. McArdle and Lavelle continued to dominate the midfield and McArdle nearly got on the scoresheet as well when the ball came through on the edge of the area. He didnít get as clean a strike as he would have liked and it was well saved. Carnmoney huffed and puffed but offered little going forward. They still were a danger from set pieces. Their closest attempt was from a free kick delivery to the back post and their winger got a run on the defence but completely miskicked his attempt when he was in a very promising position. Then cometh the hour cometh the man, McKay showed some brilliant skill to beat his man wide of goal and play a killer ball in across goal. The Carnmoney defender got the last touch redirecting the ball into the corner of the net but the referee awarded the goal to McKay, surely now booking another final spot. Northend would play the rest of the game out confidently holding onto the ball well and playing around Carnmoney not giving them a chance. Some great interplay between MacNamee and Jamieson would see another opportunity, this time for Jamieson but just wide of goal. With five minutes to go, the icing on the cake was another great Northend move again featuring McGarel who played a brilliant ball across goal which was met by Devlin who smashed it into the net to go three to the good. Northend weathered the storm in this match and produced a very mature, competent performance with all the players turning up from the off. There were many star performers on the night from back to front but Conor Lavelle gets the plaudits in goal for a very strong performance. When needed he was there and showed good decision making and choice of options. Handling and kicking was on point and he averted the danger in the first half being very much deserved of his clean sheet. Full Time 3-0

Man of the Match: Conor Lavelle
Panel: C Lavelle, H Pekala, L Barnett, K O Neill, E Lavelle (c), P Devlin, D McKay, S McArdle, E Drysdale, D McErlean, J Jamieson, K McGarel and L Mac Namee
1st Bangor Juniors 4 Northend United 2   Saturday 20th Jan 2024

A trip to the Grove playing fields for the Pizza Parlour U15s today against 1st Bangor. Northend started the quicker of the teams with a couple of quick attacks, getting in behind Bangor but resulting in nothing. It was however Bangor who would chalk up the opener, a clear out from the Bangor keeper high up the pitch was collected by the Northend defence. The ball was played back to Lavelle in nets, as he cleared the oncoming Bangor striker pressed and as he blocked the clearance was able to capitalise and tuck the ball away to go one up within six minutes. The game continued end to end with neither team really getting clear opportunities to get clear shots on goal. The second goal of the half came on the twenty ninth minute and again it was Bangor who got it , again another mistake from Northend when a slip in defence allowed the ball to get in behind and the Bangor striker slotted the ball underneath the on rushing Lavelle, 2-0 Bangor.†Northend rolled the sleeves up and started to get at the Bangor defence, some good runs on the wings from McErlean and Jamison started to cause Bangor problems and with two minutes to the half-end Northend clawed one back. It was a pass into McGarel, who turned his man and ran into the space and put one in to the bottom right to bring the deficit back to 1. Half Time 2-1

Going out for the second half Northend had the belief that this game was there for the taking and started getting on the front foot again finding runs in behind but still not able to get that cutting opportunity to level. Five minutes into the second half and the game was to change, a challenge on the Northend left channel from Kerr was deemed to be a free kick for Bangor, much to the disbelief of the side-lines and worse still as Kerr approached the referee a red was brandished. A very soft red which left Kerr devastated and got to the young blues. So brought on a change of shape and still a belief of taking something from the game. The boys pressed harder and raised the levels pushing again, a handball outside the Bangor box created a shooting opportunity. Up stepped McGarel who shot low into the corner only to be tipped round for a corner by the Bangor keeper. A quick short corner resulted with a shot from McKay that was cleared off the line and another chance gone for the blues. The next goal would be decisive in this game, as time ticked on and as it happened it was Bangor who got it. Again it was another defensive mistake, this time from a missed clearance, Bangor picked up the ball and drove into the box and picked their spot to make it 3-1. Heads dropped for the young blues and the player to the good was starting to show for Bangor. As Northend pressed to get back into the game a quick break from Bangor resulted in another goal, this time as they got in behind the ball was squared and a Bangor player at the back post was unmarked to head home and put the game beyond Northend, 4-1 Bangor. To Northendís credit they battled hard and quickly after the Bangor goal Northend themselves got one back, McGarel ran onto a ball and on the half volley hit a shot from 25 yards which dipped nicely over the rushing keeper who was helpless to get anything onto it and gave the blues a small belief of a comeback. Northend did try and chance after chance came late on, shots were blocked or just put narrowly wide and as time ticked on the final whistle blew. This was to be Northendís first defeat in league football in 26 games, something the boys have not been used to. Credit to 1st Bangor and good luck to them for the rest of the season and a speedy recovery to the young lad that came off with an ankle injury. Northend will learn a lot from this game and with little time to pick themselves up and go again as they head into a semi-final game on Monday night against Carnmoney with the hope of getting to another final.†Full Time 4-2

Man of the Match: Kian McGarel
Panel: C Lavelle, A Pekala, H Pekala, S Kerr, K O Neill, L Barnett, E Lavelle (c), P Devlin, D McKay, S McArdle, E Drysdale, D McErlean, J Jamieson, K McGarel and L Mac Namee
Northend United 3 Cliftonville Colts 1   Saturday 13th January 2024

A return to league football after the Christmas break for the Pizza Parlour U15ís, this time a trip to the Valley leisure centre. It was a fantastic start from the blues and within the first two minutes the first chance for the blues came , some great football down the left created the opening for Kian McGarel who created a yard of space but fired wide. Within seconds the next chance came this time it was a through ball to Jay who broke through the lines only again for the forward line to miss narrowly wide. McGarel went close again minutes later this time hitting the cross bar.  Northendís football was electric constantly moving the ball left to right creating opportunities and spaces to keep the pressure on Cliftonville. Finally the deadlock was broken, a quick throw in from Lucas on the left found Sam who played a first time pass round the corner of the defence, Kian broke in behind and fired a brilliantly weighted ball across goal and Jay met it first time to stick it in the back of the net and give Northend one up. Northend kept the pressure on Cliftonville and kept knocking at the door, any defensive duties from the blues line was comfortable and were happy to use Lavelle in nets to restart possession. Northendís second came on the 27th minute, more great team play created another through ball to Jamieson who slotted home for his and Northendís second , and again a second assist for McGarel . 29 minutes in and the first threat from Cliftonville came, a missed pass in the blues midfield was capitalised on and a good threaded ball found the running forward who neatly slotted past the on rushing Lavelle. Half time 2-1

Into the second half and it was more of the same from the blues, continuing to press and put pressure on Cliftonville but not being able to find that final ball forward. Both the wings of Pearce Devlin and Daniel McErlean were a constant thorn in the side, getting the ball down and driving forward at every opportunity, as well as Lewis MacNamee who was linking the wingers and forwards well with some great moments. This time a third came and it was from a kick out from keeper Lavelle, the kick found midfielder E Lavelle who flicked on the kick and it beat the Cliftonville defence to which McGarel was first to react to and he went on to put the ball in the back of the net and put Northend 3-1 to the good . The game became a midfield battle, McArdle, Drysdale  and Lavelle held firm and kept looking to find the forward pass. The defensive line of Barnett, OíNeill, H Pekala, A Pekala and Kerr were solid and comfortable as the game was drawing to an end. In the dying minutes a Cliftonville clearance was met by McArdle in midfield who played a superb ball back in behind the out rushing defence, his ball was met by E Lavelle who made a diving header and his effort looped over the keeper and in to the back of the net, celebrations were short lived as the ref blew for off side, from that the game was blown up and 3-1 was to be the final score. A great team performance from the boys especially after the Christmas break.
Todayís Player of the Match was Lewis Mac Namee - constantly driving forward looking for that splitting pass and some magic feet along the way. Very well done and much deserved. Full Time 3-1

Player of the Match: Lewis MacNamee
Panel: C Lavelle, A Pekala, H Pekala, S Kerr, K O Neill, E Lavelle (c), L Barnett, P Devlin, S McArdle, E Drysdale, D McErlean, J Jamieson, K McGarel and L Mac Namee