Ballymoney Youth 3 Northend United 4 Saturday 14th December 2019
Northend were quick out of the blocks in this match and playing into a strong wind, the Blues dominated the early exchanges. Matty Las went close on five minutes when he saw his shot go narrowly wide of the Ballymoney upright. On ten minutes the same player gave Northend the lead, when, following a Steele throughball, he slipped the ball past the Ballymoney keeper this time.
Ballymoney came more in the game and their left winger was finding space in behind the Northend defence but the Blues keeper was more than equal to the crosses being delivered.
Northend doubled their scoring on fifteen minutes, when a Connor McAuley free kick into the Ballymoney box, found Patrick Ferris who steered the ball past the Toon keeper.
Northend were looking good for their lead but Ballymoney took full advantage of the strong wind, putting the Northend defence under pressure and from a twenty yard free-kick, the ball ended up in the back of the Northend net.
In a match that was played from end to end, a Ciaran Martin cross into the Ballymoney box found Matty Las and he jinxed past two defenders before planting the ball into the corner of the Ballymoney net, to give Northend back their two-goal advantage.
As the wind intensified, The Northend defence of Montgomery, Blair, McAuley and Hansen were under constant pressure and conceded a corner. The inswinging kick got caught in the strong wind and found its way into the Northend net with ten minutes of the half remaining and leaving the score at 3-2 to Northend.
Such is the Character of this Northend team, that man Las was giving the Ballymoney defence a torrid time and saw a shot from wide cannon off the top of the Ballymoney crossbar. The Northend lads had the final say in the half, when Adam Steele was fouled in the Ballymoney box and the same player dusted himself down to score from the spot to restored Northend's two goal lead. Half time 2-4
Into the second half and the frantic pace of the first half surely couldn't be maintained by the Ballymena lads. Telford and Ferris were again influential in the Blues midfield in a half dominated by attack and counterattack. Joel Telford thought he had extended Northend's lead when his bullet-like header from a Northend corner had goal written all over it, but was somehow parried over the crossbar by the Ballymoney keeper.
Five minutes later, a superb Ferris throughball left Adam Steele clear of this marker but the Ballymoney keeper pulled off a good save. At the other end of the pitch, Ruben Shirley had to be alert to keep the Ballymoney winger from delivering crosses into the Northend box.
Ten minutes from the end of the game another high ball into the Northend box was tipped onto the Blues crossbar and fell kindly for the Ballymoney striker to plant the ball into the Northend net, leaving the score 3-4 to Northend.
The Northend lads seen out a tense final ten minutes of the game to record another good win in this very competitive Mid Ulster Youth League. Full time 3-4
Panel: J Bates, C McAuley, J Montgomery, O McAuley, A Blair, J Telford, P Ferris, M Las, C Martin, A Steele, K Porter, R Shirley
Armagh City 0 Northend United 1 Saturday 7th December 2019
Northend went into this game against Armagh City on the back of a good win over TTBS last week. The Blues started the strongest with Joel Telford and Sam Millar winning the midfield battle. Patrick Ferris was proving a thorn in the side of the Armagh defence with his link up play with Matty Las.
Northend should have scored on twenty minutes when Ferris broke through the Armagh defence and squared to Las who delayed his shot and allowed the Armagh keeper to make a great save.
Northend were piling on the pressure and Matty Las found himself in another good position, but his shot was again well saved by the Armagh keeper.
Five minutes before the end of the half, a great throughball from Connor McAuley found Ciaran Martin out on the right wing, and as how bore down on the Armagh goal, his shot rattled the side netting. Half time 0-0
Northend introduced Adam Steele and Ruben Shirley at half time as the Blues went looking for the win. Armagh came more into the game but found Jamie Montgomery and Alex Blair to top form in the Blues defence and Jordan was outstanding in the Blues nets.
Adam Steele wriggled his way into the Northend box and while he got a great shot in on goal, the Armagh keeper was again equal to it. Matty Las was next to test the Armagh keeper, forcing another good save. 10 minutes before the end of the game, Matty Las finally got the all-important goal, when he again out=paced the Armagh City defence and slipped the ball past the Armagh keeper. Armagh came storming back in the last ten minutes and Ruben Shirley was on-hand to clear an Armagh corner off the Blues goal-line.
With minutes remaining, Joel Telford saw his corner kick cleared from just below the Armagh crossbar, when a goal looked likely. Northend saw out the remainder of the game to record another good win. Full time 0-1
Panel: J Bates, R Shirley, J Montgomery, O McAuley, A Blair, J Telford, S Millar, C McAuley, P Ferris, M Las, C Martin, A Steele
Northend United 3 TTBS 0 Saturday 30th November 2019
Northend went into this match welcoming a few long-term injured back into the team. The Blues knew they would be up against a strong TTBS team, who had been notching up some impressive performances in recent weeks.
The match started with Northend stroking the ball around and stretching the TTBS defence. Matty Las and Patrick Ferris were linking up well with the former going close early on. It wasn't all one-way traffic and when TTBS took the game to Northend they found the defence of Sam Millar, Jamie Montgomery and Alex Blair in top form.
Mid-way through the half, a Northend corner was only partially cleared and when Ferris lobbed the ball into the box, Matty Las was quickest to respond and his header found Connor McAuley, who made no mistake from 6 yards.
With the Northend midfield pulling the strings in this half, Joel Telford and Connor McAuley were winning every ball. A good break from midfield on twenty-five minutes by Patrick Ferris left his marker for dead, and when he delivered the ball into the TTBS box, Matty Las was on hand to plant the ball past the TTBS keeper, to give the Blues a 2-goal advantage. Northend kept up the pressure for the remainder of this half, without adding to the score. Half time 2-0
Into the second half the Northend wide men Ciaran Martin and Ross were causing the TTBS fullbacks all sorts of problems, but the final balls into the TTBS box went abegging.
The Lurgan based side had chances of their own in this half as the Northend defence failed to clear their lines, however the Blues keeper came to the rescue on both occasions.
Northend had thought they had extended their lead after twenty-five minutes of the half, with the lively Ruben Shirley twice being denied by good saves from the TTBS keeper. Northend finally scored their third goal, when Matty Las was on hand to score his tenth goal of the season, planting the ball past the TTBs keeper, following a good cross from Shirley. Full time 3-0
Man of the Match: Patrick Ferris
Panel: J Bates, R Shirley, S Millar, J Montgomery, A Blair, J Telford, C McAuley, P Ferris, M Las, C Martin, S Penny, O McAuley
Rathfriland Youth 2 Northend United 0 Saturday 23rd November 2019
Played in horrible weather conditions, Northend were always on the back foot in this match. Due to unavailability of a number of players, it was a much-changed team that took the field.
However, the match started with both teams attacking from end to end. Northend had their goalie to thank on a few occasions, with his assured handling in difficult weather conditions. Neither side was able to stamp their authority on the game throughout the first half. Half time 0-0
Into the second half, and again no side was able to stamp their authority on the game. It was going to take a goal from a set-piece to decide this match and Rathfriland got the all-important goal midway through the half from a corner.
Northend went three at the back as they went searching for an equaliser, but they were caught out in the last kick of the game, when Rathfriland scored their second, following a longball upfield. Full time 2-0
Panel: J Bates, R Shirley, S Millar, C McAuley, J McIlhatton, A Blair, A Steele, M Las, C Martin, S Penny, K Porter
Northend United 3 Oxford United Stars 0 Saturday 16th November 2019
Northend welcomed Oxford United Stars to Ballymena on Saturday in an NIBFA Cup match. Oxford started the brightest and looked dangerous in the opening 10 minutes of the game as a depleted northend side, settled into their formation.
Gradually, the Northend midfield began to claw their way back into the game, with Adam Steele and Ross beginning to get to grips with the fast-moving Oxford midfield. The Northend defence stood firm, with full backs Ruben Shirley and Alex Blair controlling the Oxford wide men and Sam Millar in top form in central defence.
Midway through the half, following an Oxford corner which was cleared, Patrick Ferris collected the ball on the edge of his penalty box and went on a bursting run down the Northend right wing and when he crossed the ball into the Oxford box, Matty Las was on hand to plant the ball past the Oxford keeper. Both teams kept battling away for the remainder of the half without adding to the score. Half time 1-0
Into the second half and a resolute Northend team took the game to Oxford from the off. The midfield of Steele, Ferris and Ross where in dominant form against the hard working Derrymen.
Northend further increased their lead after 10 minutes, when Patrick Ferris controlled the ball in the Oxford box and drilled the ball past their keeper.
With Matty Las leading the Northend forward line and Kiefer Porter and Ciaran Martin providing width in the team, Northend went on to score a third goal when a Ferris long-range shot deceived the Oxford keeper and ended up in the back of the net.
Oxford changed their shape in the final ten minutes of the game and pushed an extra striker up top, but to no avail and the Blues defence stood and goalkeeper stood firm to see the game through to the end. Full time 3-0
Panel: J Bates, R Shirley, S Millar, O McAuley, A Blair, A Steele, P Ferris, M Las, C Martin, K Porter, J Montgomery, R McKillop