Northend United 3 Valley Rangers 0 Saturday 27th October 2018
This week the U17s were up against a Valley Rangers side who prior to the game were level on points in the league. Northend were just off the back of a big win and the momentum carried into this game with a fast start for Northend which led to a Callum Forsythe shot flying over the bar. Niall Esler also had a shot go closely over the bar as Northend provided a high pressing game which caused Valley Rangers problems.
The high press led to a Northend chance when Niall Esler's touch laid the call to Matthew Stewart, and as he beat a defender on the outside he was chopped down to earn a penalty. He stood up and kept up his impressive penalty record with a firm finish into the corner.
Northend's energy levels seemed to drop temporarily after the goal, and a series of Rangers set pieces looked their likeliest way to score. These were well dealt with however, and just before half time Conor McDonald collected the ball, swivelled and slammed the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
The 2-goal cushion could have been extended as a Northend set piece led to Stewart hitting the bar from a tight angle, and the follow up from Jason Givens saved by the feet of the keeper.At half time, Northend were comfortable at 2-0. Half time 2-0
The second half followed much the pattern of the first, with the Blues dominating possession and territory. Conor McDonald had 2 free kicks excellently saved, and the Valley keeper produced another great save from a Callum Forsythe cross that drifted towards the far corner.The third goal did come, with Jack Agnew challenging the keeper and the ball dropping to Niall Esler 2 yards out to hammer Home.
Altogether a thoroughly impressive performance and result and a well-deserved win. Full time 3-0
Panel: J Scullion, C Forsythe, C Meeke, L Rea, D Young, J Dallas, R Mark, C McDonald, M Stewart, N Esler, J Givens, J Currie, Z Clarke, R Boomer, J Agnew
Northend United 5 Oxford Sunnyside 0 Saturday 13th October 2018
Northend 2002s came off the back of a poor result to face Oxford Sunnyside in the Mid Ulster league. Northend started the game with control and a nice piece of interplay led to confusion in the oxford ranks, resulting in a handball and penalty. Matthew Stewart stepped up to give the blues an early lead. The lead was doubled soon after when Luke Rea headed in from a corner.
The lads kept pushing and Ryan Mark added a third before Jude Currie forced a goal in at the back post to cement the dominance. The half was played at a high tempo with the Northend lads playing good football, and Jason Givens made it 5-0, before Matthew Stewart and Jude Currie also added to their goal tallies.
The second half followed much the same pattern, with Jason Givens getting another goal and Matthew Stewart adding a third for his hat trick.
Conor McDonald got in on the scoring and finished well twice, before Matthew Stewart added his fourth and Jason Givens took a left footed finish well to have a perfect hat trick to his name.The scoring was finished when Ryan Boomer ran the length of the pitch to win the ball and drove into the Oxford box to then be upended by the keeper. He stood up and finished the penalty for his first goal of the season.
The Northend coaches were particularly happy with the relentless pressure and energy shown by the team, with some brilliant individual performances.
Panel: J Scullion, C Forsythe, C Meeke, L Rea, D Young, J Dallas, C McDonald, R Mark, J Currie, M Stewart, J Givens, J Coates, R Boomer, J Agnew, Z Clarke
Moira 2 Northend United 1 Saturday 6th October 2018
The U17's faced Moira FC in the league at the weekend. The U17s were coming into this game on the back of a number of strong performances including a good win against last years Mid Ulster League champions Midway Rovers and a 0-0 draw against a strong TTBS side. The U17s were slow to start the game and Moira had a couple of early chances however none of which really troubled keeper Jude Scullion. Midway through the first half the U17s, in a bid to get going, made a tactical change which saw Niall Esler move up top and Matthew Stewart move over to the right-hand side of the front 3. Within minutes the change paid dividends as Esler pressured one of the Moira defenders into a mistake which saw him win the ball on half way before sprinting clear and smashing the ball past the Moira keeper into the far-right hand corner of the goal. 1-0 Northend. The U17s weren't in front for long however as Moira equalised almost straightaway firing the ball into the roof of the net, nothing the Northend goalkeeper could do about it, 1-1. Before half-time Northend had a great chance to regain the lead as a great ball in from right back Callum Forsythe was headed narrowly over the bar by Conor McDonald. Half-time 1-1
The second half continued as the first half had ended with Northend struggling to get any sort of grip on the game and it wasn't long before they found themselves behind. A Moira free kick was whipped in from the left and some poor marking left the Moira player with a free header which he directed into the Northend goal. 2-1 Moira FC. Goalkeeper Jude Scullion prevented Northend from going further behind as he made a great saw down low to his right from a shot that skidded off the wet surface. Northend struggled to create anything clear cut in the second half. Conor McDonald saw a free kick saved low to the Moira keepers right and Jack Agnew couldn't squeeze in the rebound. The match finished 2-1 to Moira, a disappointing result for the U17s after the performances of the previous few weeks. Full time 2-1
Panel: J Scullion, C Meeke, C Forsythe, D Young, J Coates, J Dallas, C McDonald, R Mark, Clarke, N Esler, M Stewart, R Boomer, J Agnew, J Givens, J Currie
TTBS Juniors 0 Northend United 0 Saturday 29th September 2018
Northend U17s has a tough task this week against unbeaten league leaders TTBS. However, the first 5 minutes showed signs of promise for Northend, and they matched the opposition in the early stages playing some nice football. As the game progresses though TTBS seized control and showed their class in playing some lovely passing football. Northend seemed rattled and kept making silly mistakes under the high intensity gameplay of TTBS. Credit must go however to the defensive pairing of Luke Rea and Dylan Young who were absolutely superb and managed to limit TTBS to long shots which were easily dealt with by keeper Jude Scullion. Northend managed to survive until half time without conceding any goals. Half time 0-0
The team that appeared for the 2nd half however were unrecognisable to that of the first. With Northend making 3 changes, and a huge change in attitude from the other players, the Ballymena Boys grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. The lads battled their way into the ascendancy and Conor McDonald saw a long shot well saved. Niall Esler's move up to striker made a difference and he managed to chip the keeper only for the goal to be narrowly ruled out for offside. With both sides chasing a winner, in the last minute the best chance of the game came to the Blues.
McDonald won the ball on the counter and slid Matthew Stewart through, who, with a defender to beat, outpaced him on the outside but saw the TTBS keeper rush off the line to make a great save.
A 0-0 draw was probably a fair result on the balance of the game, but a superb game of football with 2 teams playing attacking football was a joy to watch.Full time 0-0
Panel: J Scullion, R Boomer, J Coates, L Rea, D Young, J Dallas, R Mark, C McDonald, J Currie, M Stewart, N Esler, C Meeke, C Forsythe, Z Clarke
Northend United 3 Midway United 0 Saturday 22nd September 2018
The 2002s took on a Midway United side who had not been beaten in 18 months and hadn't yet conceded a goal this season.
The blues came out of the traps frantically and exerted some early pressure on the Midway goal. However, a loose moment in defence led to a Midway striker finding himself through on goal, only for Jude Scullion to close the angle well and force the striker to fire wide.
At the other end, a high energy press was causing Midway problems, and Niall Esler on one occasion did well to tackle a defender. He regained his balance and crossed to ball beyond the defence, where Jude Currie was on hand to touch the ball down and fire past the keeper for a 1-0 lead. In the remainder of the half, there was no clear-cut chances, but Northend continued to dominate until the half. Half time 1-0
The Ballymena lads came out of the traps well in the second half with good intensity, and when a free kick was won on the edge of the box, captain Conor McDonald stepped up. His initial effort hit the wall, but he dummied a shot to beat a defender and then curled a beautiful goal into the far corner from the edge of the box.
The dominance was maintained with Ryan Mark and Joseph Dallas superb in the midfield and Luke Rea and Dylan Young fantastic in defence.
The attack though had more to say, and Niall Esler turned provider again, passing to Matthew Stewart who turned a defender superbly and finished in at the near post for his 3rd goal in 2 games.
A magnificent performance and a thoroughly deserved win to maintain some momentum in the league. Full time 3-0
Panel: J Scullion, C Forsythe, C Meeke, L Rea, D Young, J Dallas, R Mark, C McDonald, J Currie, M Stewart, N Esler, R Boomer, J Coates, J Givens, Z Clarke
............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Northend United 2 Downshire YM 1 Saturday 15th September 2018
This week Northend u17s travelled to Lisburn to take on a Downshire YM side who had won their previous two games. Northend started the game as the better team, from the first minute their passing and movement from defence to attack was slick and it brought them early rewards. A throw in on the right-hand side led to some quick passing play to allow Zach Clarke in behind the fullback and his deep cross was cushioned by Jason Givens onto the head of Matthew Stewart who slotted past the goalkeeper.
As the half progressed Downshire came into the ascendancy, keeping possession well nullifying any Northend attacks but failing to create anything significant of their own. Jude Currie did have one good chance for Northend, but his low shot forced the keeper into a fine save. The half ended at one nil. Half time 1-0
Into the second half a number of Northend changes increased the tempo and allowed them to take control of the game. However, 5 minutes into the half some loose defending from a corner allowed Downshire to equalise through a free header.
The Ballymena boys rallied with Niall Esler and Conor McDonald forcing more saves from the goalkeeper. The breakthrough did come as Matthew Stewart fired into the corner of the net after some sharp play. Northend managed to hold the lead, with their two centre-backs particularly impressive. A deserved win to gain their first points of the season. Full time 2-1
Panel: J Scullion, R Boomer, L Rea, D Young, J Coates, J Dallas, J Givens, C McDonald, J Currie, M Stewart, Z Clarke, R Mark, C Meeke, N Esler, C Forsythe