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