Northend United 3 Fivemiletown United 2 NIBFA Cup 9th November 2019
Northend 2004s kept up their impressive start to the season by progressing to the second round of the NIBFA Cup with a comfortable win over fellow Mid-Ulster League side Fivemiletown. The blues were quickly into their stride and Paul O'Boyle smashed an early effort off the upright after four minutes. Owen Campbell had a goal disallowed moments later for a very tight off-side decision and it only looked a matter of time before the Ballymena boys would edge ahead. The goal came after eleven minutes when Kai Barr was brought down in the penalty area and Lewis Hector scored from the spot kick. Fivemiletown pulled themselves back into the game after seventeen minutes with a well worked goal, although Northend never really looked fazed by that set back and continued to dominate play with some strong performances across all areas of the pitch. Half-time 1-1
The blues struck the cross-bar with another Paul O'Boyle effort in the opening minute of the half and that set the tone for the remainder of the game. Northend played some excellent football out of defence and through midfield, and as they increased their speed of play another goal looked on the cards. Around the mid-point of the half a neat one-two on the edge of the area between Kai Bar and Tyrone Mitchell created space for Owen Campbell and the young striker neatly slotted his effort past the keeper. With ten minutes remaining the game was put beyond doubt when Conn McCann was up-ended in the box and Lewis Hector scored his second penalty of the game. Deep into injury time Fivemiletown were awarded a penalty when the defence closed down a shot from the edge of the area, but it was too late in the game to affect any outcome and the Ballymena side moved into the next round with another home tie scheduled for mid-December. Full-time 3-2
Men of the match - A very solid team performance on a cold and wet morning which provided difficult playing conditions for both sides. Back to league action next week boys. Keep up the good work!
Panel: S McDowell, S McDowell, D McLaughlin, J Adams, D Magill, P O'Boyle, T Mitchell, C McKenna, O Campbell, K Barr, L Hector, C McCann, R Shirley
Tandragee Rovers 1 Northend United 9 Saturday 2nd November 2019
A near perfect response by the U16s after losing their first game of the season last week and all the more remarkable as they were reduced to ten men after the fifth minute of the game. Northend's passing in the opening exchanges was simply too quick for Tandragee and the blues opened the scoring after thirty seconds when Kai Barr rolled the ball into the feet of Lewis Hector to score his first of the game from ten yards. It was two nil in the second minute when Owen Campbell robbed the Tandragee defence of the ball before squaring to Kai Barr who coolly beat his marker and slid his shot into the goal. It was then three nil in the third minute when Connor McKenna intercepted a pass across the Tandragee midfield before bursting into the box and rounding the keeper to put the game beyond doubt. Tandragee's first real attack of the game saw Northend being reduced to ten men after only five minutes of play following a strong challenge on the far touchline. The Ballymena boys took a little time to re-adjust, although it was the temporary left back Paul O'Boyle who curled a great pass behind the Tandragee defence to create an opening for Owen Campbell to grab a deserved goal. Tandragee did gain a stronger foothold in the game with the advantage of an extra player and pulled a goal back with ten minutes of the half remaining. Half-time 4-1
The Ballymena boys started the second half with great determination and were again looking to make amends for the previous week's loss. Paul O'Boyle's cross from the left was chested and volleyed into goal by Lewis Hector on the third minute and as the Tandragee sides heads dropped Northend took the opportunity to try out a slightly different formation. Northend's defence wee solid throughout and the three-man midfield were stretching the visitors with some quick passing and linking up with the attack. Tyrone Mitchell scored the blues sixth with a mazy run and smart finish at the mid-point of the half, before Lewis Hector completed his hat-trick and then went on to add a fourth as the blues again enjoyed a good spell of possession. Further chances came and went, Owen Campbell hit the upright and Dylan McLaughlin drilled a shot into the side netting following a strong run. With five minutes remaining Connor McKenna scored his second when some unselfish work off the ball by Hector and Campbell created space for the midfielder to drill home a shot from ten yards. Full-time 9-1
Men of the match: A fantastic response to the previous week by the entire team and it is very difficult to highlight individuals, although with four goals to his name Lewis Hector gets a nod along with Jack Adams who had a good performance at the centre of the defence. Keep up the hard work!
Panel: S McDowell, D McKay, D McLaughlin, J Adams, D Magill, P O'Boyle, T Mitchell, C McKenna, O Campbell, K Barr, L Hector, S Crawford
Northend United 0 Tullyvallen Rangers 1 Saturday 26th October 2019
The 2004s unbeaten start to the season came to an end in this hard-fought game with Tullyvallen's keeper producing a five star display to deny the blues. The opening exchanges were quite even although Northend created the better of the early chances with Owen Campbell's run and cut back from the bye-line bobbling in-front of Connor McKenna when well placed. Lewis Hector then drilled a low shot across goal at the mid- point of the half which forced a brilliant one handed save from the Tullyvallen keeper and this started a regular theme. Further efforts by Campbell, O'Boyle and Hector were well saved and the sucker blow came four minutes before the break when a miss-hit cross into the Northed box soared into the far corner of the goal. Half-time 0-1
Northend re-grouped at half-time and started the second half in determined fashion. The blues were moving the ball a lot faster and further openings came their way. Kai Barr's half volley from the edge of the area had 'goal' written all over it until the Tullyvallen keeper again produced a fine one-handed save, moments later the keeper denied Owen Campbell with an outstretched foot to keep his side ahead. Tullyvallen were relying on a long ball from front to back and the Northend defence were more than happy to deal with this approach, as the game progressed the Ballymena side looked set to grab at least an equaliser, Conn McCann went close and Tyrone Mitchell made two bursting runs in the final stages, all of which were denied by the Tullyvallen keeper. Full-time 0-1
This was a sore defeat for the boys and one which they will need to put behind them ahead of next week's league game. It's been a great start to the season so far and there's plenty to build upon for both the league and cup. Keep up the hard work!
Panel: S McDowell, S Crawford, D McLaughlin, J Adams, D Magill, P O'Boyle, T Mitchell, C McKenna, O Campbell, D McKay, L Hector, C McCann and K Barr
Midway United 2 Northend United 4 Saturday 19th October 2019
Northend continued their unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable win over Midway United. The Ballymena boys almost took the lead after two minutes when Kai Barr shot across goal went narrowly wide of the upright. The young striker then created a good opportunity for Owen Campbell minutes later, however Campbell's shot rose agonisingly over the crossbar. Northend did take the lead on fourteen minutes when Tyrone Mitchell won the ball in midfield and found Kai Barr on the edge of the area, Barr's quick feet left his marker for dead before he slotted a curling effort into the top left-hand corner. The blues continued to pile pressure onto the Midway defence and Owen Campbell grabbed Northend's second when Paul O'Boyle's pass sent him in on goal. Midway responded almost immediately and the blues defence had to weather a short period of pressure with Sam McDowell again looking very assured and bravely playing on after suffering an injury to his right hand. The only remaining highlight of the half was when Boydie Black agreed with a refereeing decision just before the break. Half-time 1-2
The Ballymena boys were caught sleeping after the break and allowed Midway to grab an equalizer within minutes of the restart. This did however spark the blues into life and they responded with two well taken headed efforts from Owen Campbell and Paul O'Boyle, both of which arrived from Connor McKenna free-kicks. The back four of Crawford, McLaughlin, Adams and Magill were again very solid and O'Boyle, Mitchell, McKenna and Hector were dominating the midfield battle. Tyrone Mitchell hit a shot off the upright after eleven minutes and Connor McKenna drilled a half volley narrowly wide of goal at the midpoint of the half. With ten minutes remaining Conn McCann's weaving run past four defenders forced a great one handed save from Midway's keeper and although further chances came Northend's way the blues couldn't extend their lead. Full-time 2-4
Man of the Match: Connor McKenna had a very solid game in the middle of the park.
Panel: S McDowell, S Crawford, D McLaughlin, J Adams, D Magill, P O'Boyle, T Mitchell, C McKenna, O Campbell, K Barr, L Hector, C McCann and D McKay
Northend United 4 St Marys 1 Saturday 12th October 2019
The 2004s continued their unbeaten start to the season with a convincing win over St Mary's in what was a physical encounter from start to finish. The blues settled quickly into the game and created a few good early chances. The opening goal arrived on nine minutes when Connor McKenna cut a pass back from the bye-line and Lewis Hector drilled a low shot beyond the keeper. The Ballymena boys were playing some good football and extended their lead after thirteen minutes when Owen Campbell and Lewis Hector worked a short corner which allowed Lewis Hector to fire a shot past the keeper from twenty yards. Northend were in total control at this point but allowed St Mary's to keep a foot in the game when they conceded a goal at the mid-point of the half. The blues struck back immediately when Tyrone Mitchell found Paul O'Boyle in space and the young midfielder coolly flicked the ball into the air before smashing a half volley into the net. Kai Barr went close to extending the lead before the referee began to influence the game with a series of odd decisions which disrupted the flow of the match. Half-time 3-1
There was an edge to the game after the restart with several challenges and off the ball incidents going unchecked. Sam McDowell was again in good form and was largely untroubled for most of the second half. The back four of Crawford, Adams, Magill and McLaughlin stood up well to the physical approach of the St Mary's attack but refused to concede any ground. There was however a flurry of yellow cards for both sides and the flow of the game suffered with the number of interruptions by the referee. Northend took this in their stride and continued to play the better football. The fourth goal came on twelve minutes when Owen Campbell squared a pass to Conn McCann inside the penalty area and the young striker smartly finished off the move with a first time shot past the keeper. Several further chances came and went - as did a number of yellow cards, however the blues were never really troubled at any stage and deservedly took the three points. Full-time 4-1
Man of the Match: Team performance - the boys all showed a great attitude and determination to grind out a comfortable win in difficult circumstances. Keep this good run going boys!
Panel: S McDowell, S Crawford, D McLaughlin, J Adams, D Magill, P O'Boyle, T Mitchell, C McKenna, O Campbell, K Barr, L Hector, C McCann
Northend United 6 Lurgan Town Predators 0 Saturday 5th October 2019
This was an important fixture for Northend following a run of three consecutive draws against the top sides in the Mid Ulster League and the boys knew that nothing less than a win was required to continue their unbeaten start to the season. The blues played some good passing football from the first whistle and created a few half chances during the opening exchanges. The breakthrough came with two quick-fire goals around the mid-point of the half; the first came when Kai Barr spotted Paul O'Boyle's run into the box and the young midfielder drove a low shot in off the far post. The second came almost directly from the restart when Barr again produced a defence splitting pass for Owen Campbell to make it two nil. Lewis Hector and Kai Barr both went close during a period of play where the blues looked like running way with the game before half-time. Dylan McLaughlin continued his run of good form stretching back to the summer with another quiet but very effective game at full-back; and almost grabbed a goal after twenty minutes when a bursting run from deep inside his own half saw him test the keeper from twenty yards. Northend's third goal arrived five minutes before the break when Owen Campbell again finished off a good period of play with a crisp right foot finish. The blues lost their shape towards the end of the half and Sam McDowell made a good double save, before Dylan McLaughlin cleared an effort off the line. Half-time 3-0
Northend picked up the pace at the start of the second half and a neat one/two on the edge of the box between Tyrone Mitchell and Conn McCann opened up the Lurgan defence for Mitchell to drill home the blues fourth. The Ballymena side took the opportunity to try out a 4-3-3 formation and move players into less familiar positions. Lewis Hector went close with a twenty-five yard drive on ten minutes and it was Hector's pass that created a chance for Connor McKenna to score Northend's fifth after sixteen minutes. David Magill completed the scoring after twenty minutes when his shot was deflected off a Lurgan Defender and into goal. The referee disallowed what looked to be a perfectly good goal by Conn McCann with ten minutes remaining and the blues continued to play some good football to the final whistle. Full-time 6-0
Men of the Match: Lewis Hector for his general build up play particularly when the blues tried out a new formation and Dylan McLaughlin for another quiet but very effective performance in defence.
Panel: S McDowell, D McKay, D McLoughlin, J Adams, D Magill, P O'Boyle, T Mitchell, C McKenna, O Campbell, K Barr, L Hector, C McCann
Northend United 3 Lurgan Town 3 Saturday 28th September 2019
An absolute humdinger of a game between two of the favourites for the league title and one which also saw the blues remain unbeaten following a difficult run of consecutive fixtures against three of the top teams in the Mid-Ulster League. Lurgan settled into the game quickly and took the lead during an opening ten minutes spell where they dominated possession. The blues finally sparked into life after twelve minutes when Lewis Hector released Owen Campbell through on goal however the young strikers chipped effort went narrowly over the crossbar. Three minutes later Campbell's pace again unsettled the Lurgan defence when he forced a good stave from the keeper. Lurgan again started to dominate the midfield area and it took some resolute defending by the Northend defence of Crawford, McLaughlin, Magill and Adams to keep their side in the game. Sam McDowell was also outstanding not only during this period but throughout the game with some assured handling as Lurgan made good use of the width on offer at the Barbour pitch and barraged the Northend boys with an onslaught of crosses into the area. Lurgan edged themselves further ahead with five minutes remaining and deserved their lead going in at the break. Half-time 0-2
It really was a classic 'game of two halves' with Northend starting the second half at a much faster pace and they created no fewer than five excellent chances in the opening ten minutes. Owen Campbell lobbed the keeper towards the end of this spell of pressure to pull the blues back into the game and the Ballymena side continued to play some excellent football with O'Boyle, Mitchell, McKenna and McKay now having a firm grip on the game in midfield. Further chances came for the blues and it took a Lewis Hector twenty-five yard rocket to pull the game level with sixteen minutes remaining. Lurgan responded within minutes by regaining the lead, however Northend surged forward again and brought themselves level when Connor McKenna drilled a free-kick inside the upright with five minutes remaining. Conn McCann almost snatched the winner in the final minute with a superb bicycle kick that forced the Lurgan Town keeper into making another fine save. Full-time 3-3
A much better second half performance that brought to an end a run of three consecutive games against opposition who are all fancied to have a good shot at the league title. Northend are still unbeaten and now need to build on the good start to the season over the next run of fixtures. Keep up the hard work boys!
Man of the match: Sam McDowell - his team needed a big performance in the first half and Sam delivered with some excellent handling against a barrage of crosses into the area.
Panel: S McDowell, S Crawford, D Magill, J Adams, D McLaughlin, D McKay, C McKenna, T Mitchell, P O'Boyle, L Hector, O Campbell, C McCann
Lurgan Celtic 1 Northend United 1 Saturday 21st September 2019
A second successive difficult league fixtures saw Northend's unbeaten start to the season put to the test against the current league champions Lurgan Celtic. Northend started the game at a fast pace and went close in the opening five minutes when Kai Bar released Owen Campbell for a shot on goal. The Blues piled the pressure onto the Lurgan defence with Tyrone Mitchell and Connor McKenna dominating the central-midfield area. The Ballymena boys couldn't take advantage of their early period of domination and Lurgan went ahead with a rare attack to score from an in-swinging corner. The Blues put this set back behind them and again knuckled down to playing some good passing football, Paul O'Boyle and Lewis Hector were providing good width and an equaliser looked on the cards before the break. Sam McDowell was called into action to make a good stop with two minutes remain although it was the blues who were enjoying the majority of possession. Half-time 1-0
Northend again took the game to the reigning champions from the start of the second half. The Blues were moving the ball about with confidence and the back four again looked untroubled by the Lurgan attack. Lewis Hector fired a dangerous cross flashing across the goalmouth with Owen Campbell only a matter of inches from pulling his side level. There was a real physical edge to the game with neither side pulling out of a tackle. The Blues pulled themselves level on twenty minutes when Tyrone Mitchell smashed a half volley into the goal from the edge of the area. Northend again piled the pressure onto the Lurgan defence and with five minutes remaining Tyrone Mitchell spread the ball wide to Lewis Hector and the midfielders first time cross was headed narrowly over the bar by Owen Campbell from close range. Full-time 1-1
A tough game against a very physically strong Lurgan Celtic side and on this showing both teams will be in the hunt for the title at the end of the season.
Man of the match: Tyrone Mitchell - dominated the central midfield area and deserved his goal.
Panel: S McDowell, D McKay, S Crawford, D Magill, J Adams, C McKenna, T Mitchell, L Hector, P O'Boyle, O Campbell, Kai Barr, D McLaughlin.
Northend United 1 Lisburn Youth 1 Saturday 14th September 2019
Only the second game of the season, but two of the favourites for the league title went toe to toe in an all action game that rarely had a dull moment. Northend started the game well and moved the ball quickly from back to front. The blues deservedly took the lead on eight minutes when Jack Adams found Tyrone Mitchell in space and the young midfielder split the Lisburn defence with a pass to Owen Campbell. The striker initial shot was saved, but Owen was the quickest player to the loose ball, and he smashed his second effort into the open goal. It was almost two nil within a minute, Kai Barr held onto possession in the attacking third and found a pass for Lewis Hector to test the keeper from the edge of the area. Sam Crawford, Jack Adams, David Magill and Dylan McLaughlin were having outstanding games in defence and limited Lisburn to a handful of half chances throughout the game. Northend continued to dominate play for large spells and almost notched another, minutes before half time when Lewis Hector's shot hit the side netting. Half time 1-0
The Blues again started on the front foot and were denied what appeared to be a stonewall penalty in the opening minutes when Paul O'Boyle's pass allowed Owen Campbell to outpace the Lisburn defence before being brought down in the box with only the keeper to beat. Lisburn's aerial threat brought the scores level with ten minutes gone in the second half and they enjoyed a short period of pressure during which Sam McDowell looked equal to the challenge. The Blues had a second strong call for a penalty on twenty minutes when Paul O'Boyle was brought down under a heavy challenge, but again play was waved on. Davy McKay was working tirelessly in midfield and with ten minutes remaining his pass found Conn McCann in space in the goal area but again a heavy challenge went unpunished. It looked as though the Ballymena boys were going to be out of luck when the referee awarded Lisburn a penalty in the dying moments and there was more than a sense of justice when the ball soared over the bar. Northend mounted a final period of pressure and almost won the game when Connor McKenna headed narrowly wide in the final minute. Full-time 1-1
Men of the Match: Sam Crawford and David Magill were at the top of their game and played solidly throughout.
Panel: S McDowell, S McDowell, D McLaughlin, J Adams, D Magill, C McKenna, T Mitchell, L Hector, P O'Boyle, O Campbell, K Barr, C McCann, D McKay
Fivemiletown Youth 1 Northend United 3 Saturday 7Th September 2019
Northend 2004s made a strong start to their first season in the Dulux Mid Ulster League with a good performance against Fivemiletown Youth. The blues started with a good rhythm and controlled much of the game from the opening whistle. Sam Crawford went close with a twenty five yard drive in the opening exchanges, before Owen Campbell had an effort scrambled off the line at the mid-point of the half. Sam McDowell had to look lively when he flicked a half volley over the bar on twenty minutes and had another commanding game goal. It was Fivemiletown who took the lead against the run of play with ten minutes remaining when Northend gave the ball away carelessly in midfield. The blues kept their shape and Connor McKenna almost pulled a goal back before the break with a well struck effort from the edge of the area. Half-time 0-1
The Ballymena boys started the second half strongly with Tyrone Mitchell and Paul O'Boyle taking an even better control of the game in midfield. Northend were again dominating play, the back four of Sam Crawford, Dylan McLaughlin, David Magill and Jack Adams were solid throughout and the blues were level after eight minutes when Lewis Hector drilled a low shot below the keeper from the edge of the area. Moments later David McKay almost extended Northend's lead, forcing a good save from the keeper. The Ballymena boys went ahead after eighteen minutes, David Magill's pass found Kai Barr on the right edge of the box and the young striker left his man for dead before cutting a fine pass back across goal towards Lewis Hector who slotted home from ten yards. The possession was now all with Northend, Conn McCann brought further pace to the attack and won a free kick on the left edge of the penalty box which Connor McKenna curled into the far top corner of the goal to put the game beyond doubt. Full time 3-1
Man of the Match: Kai Barr - the young striker was a constant threat each time he got the ball and his play to create chances for others stood out amongst some other very strong performances across the team.
Panel: S McDowell, S Crawford, D McLaughlin, J Adams, D Magill, C McKenna, T Mitchell, P O'Boyle, O Campbell, K Barr, L Hector, C McCann and D McKay