Downpatrick 1 Northend United 4 16th November 2019
On a wet and cold Saturday morning, the U18s travelled to Belfast to take on Downpatrick who had beat them 3-2 just last month. The Blues were at it from the first whistle, and in the first minute some pressure led to Niall Esler seeing a left footed effort just fly over. This set the tempo for the first 15 minutes as Northend attacked hard, seeing a few other half chances go begging. At the other end though Jude Scullion was forced into a good save when faced 1 on 1.
Northend did find the breakthrough with some neat midfield passing giving Ryan Mark the chance to play Chris Fullerton behind the defence, and he squared for Leon Spurgeon to pass into the net.
The goal actually had a negative effect on the Northend's style of play, and their passing got sloppy and tempo dropped. The next 10 minutes belonged to Downpatrick, as they had a header go just over and soon after a cross from the right was well cut out by Dylan Young, but fell do a Downpatrick player to fire home. Towards the end of the half Northend seized dominance again. Chris Fullerton had 2 great chances which forced decent saves when maybe he should have scored. It should be noted that the midfield trio of Jack Agnew, Ryan Mark and Cameron Bailes were brilliant and started to completely dominate the Downpatrick midfield.
Just before the half, the lead did return to Ballymena lads as Bailes headed the ball to Niall Esler, and his first touch completely fooled the Downpatrick defender before Esler brilliantly smashed a finish into the top corner. Half time 2-1
The second half was a much more dominant performance by Northend, with the back 4 absolutely brilliant and allowing that midfield trio to continue to run the game. Bailes and Agnew continued to set up the front 3 with chance after chance, and Fullerton again forced a save and with another chance was unlucky to hit the inside of the post. Jason Givens did have the ball in the back of the net after a brilliant Bailes run, but it was called offside. Givens did get his goal soon after, poking home from 10 yards after a Fullerton pass to give Northend a cushion and some comfort.
Again, Northend continued to create, and a wonderful Agnew touch and pass gave Givens another good chance which was hit straight at the keeper. Fullerton returned to the attack and before the end was able to finish after another Bailes run and pass for a goal he deserved for his hard work and persistence. Full time 4-1
This was probably Northend's best team performance of the season over 80 minutes and could easily have been a scoreline of 8 or 9 goals with some sharper finishing
Panel: J Scullion, D Young, J Dallas, L Rea, J Coates, R Mark, J Agnew, C Bailes, C Fullerton, N Esler, L Spurgeon, C Meeke, L Herbison, J Givens
Larne Youth 2 Northend United 1 Friday 1st November 2019
This weekend the U18s looked to continue their unbeaten start to the season as they took on Larne Youth on a wet and blustery Friday night at the Cliff. Northend got off to the ideal start and within 10 minutes found themselves 1-0 up. A swift counter-attack which started on the edge of their own box was played into the feet of striker Chris Fullerton on halfway who flicked the ball around the corner for left winger Matthew Stewart to run onto. He still had a lot of work to do but kept his composure to finish well into the far top right corner of the net. 1-0 Northend. Despite not having a lot of the ball Northend had the better chances in the first half. Jack Agnew saw a low free kick well saved by the Larne goalkeeper before he hit the post from another free kick from a similar position not long after. Northend unlucky not to be 2-0 ahead. Northend defended well in the first half and managed to limit Larne to few chances and went in 1-0 up at the break. Half time 0-1
The second half continued as the first half ended with Northend struggling to get the ball down and keep possession in difficult conditions. Larne started to build momentum and found themselves level after a mishit free kick found its way into the Northend box and into the back of the net. 1-1. Not long after Northend found themselves 2-1 down after one of the Larne midfielders rifled one into the top left corner of the net from about 25 yards out. Northend stand-in goalkeeper Jason Givens could do nothing. Northend kept fighting until the end but it wasn't to be as striker Chris Fullerton hit the post after a flick on from a corner with about 5 mins to go. The game finished 2-1 to Larne bringing Northend's unbeaten start to the season to an end. They will look to bounce back quickly as they play Rathcoole on Monday night in Crumlin. Full time 2-1
Panel: J Givens, L Herbison, L Rea, D Young, C Meeke, C Bailes, J Agnew, R Mark, M Stewart, N Esler, C Fullerton, R Boomer, J Coates, J Dallas, S Foster, C O'Neill
Northend United 3 St James Swifts B 3 Saturday 26th October 2019
This Friday night Northend took on St James Swifts B's in Larne. The lads had a 100% record going into this game, but St James' were also doing well in the league. The game started well with both teams showing good intent to play fluid attacking football at a high tempo. It was an extremely even game in the early stages, with St James having a few early longshots, but Northend has the best early chance as Jack Agnew set Matthew Stewart away but a poor touch allowed the advancing keeper to claim the ball.
The first goal did however come from the same player, as this time Ryan Mark set Stewart through and he slotted past the goalkeeper. The lead didn't last long as a St James corner was unlucky to be directed home off a Northend defender. Both teams had further chances, Jack Agnew had an effort tamely hit at the goalkeeper when through 1 on 1. Also, another long shot from St James was destined for the top corner but for a stunning Jude Scullion diving save. Half time 1-1
The second half started brightly again and as the half progressed, St James Swifts managed to seize control. In a crazy 5 minutes, the Swifts managed to get 2 goals from good breaks to gain a 3-1 lead. With the Northend lads having a mountain to climb, some fresh impetus led to a push for a way back into the game. It came through a stroke of luck as a deflection off a Swifts player fell to Chris Fullerton who poked home. An equaliser was soon to follow as a ball through to Chris Fullerton was lashed into the bottom corner.
With about 10 minutes remaining both teams searched for a winner. Again, Scullion was forced into a great save and Luke Rea was brilliant in defence, while at the other end, a Jason Givens break almost brought a goal as his squared pass just rolled past Chris Fullerton. In the end, a draw was a fair result for a super game of football. Full time 3-3
Panel: J Scullion, L Herbison, L Rea, C Meeke, J Coates, C Bailes, J Agnew, R Mark, J Givens, N Esler, M Stewart, R Boomer, C Fullerton
Bangor Swifts 2 Northend United 3 Saturday 19th October 2019
On Friday night the U18s travelled to Holywood to take on Bangor Swifts in their second league game of the season. The Blues started playing very well, passing the ball brilliantly and constantly looking a threat. Cameron Bailes had a great header saved and Leon Spurgeon saw a close-range effort go narrowly wide.
Jude Scullion dealt well with a number of long-range shots, but a loose touch in defence allowed Bangor in, and the winger hammered home to break the deadlock. Northend still had a few good chances before the break, but Bailes, Ryan Mark and Spurgeon again all narrowly missed. In defence, another error let Bangor in and Luke Rea produced a stunning goal line block to keep the gap at 1 at halftime. Half time 1-0
The second half saw a similar pattern, with Northend striving and pushing for an equaliser. About halfway through the half, a Niall Esler corner was hit goal wards by Rea, and after a block was turned in by Leon Spurgeon, who scored for the 2nd game in a row. With their heads up, Northend attacked almost immediately, and Cameron Bailes split the defence to send Niall Esler through, who slotted through the keeper's legs to make it 2 in 2 minutes.
Expectedly, Bangor lofted their tempo, and a long ball behind the Northend defence saw a 1 on 1 which was dispatched for the equaliser. Not satisfied with an equaliser, the Northend subs made a huge difference. More pressure forced a corner which fell to captain Rea and he touched it home for the lead with about 10 Minutes remaining.
Bangor brought the pressure in the closing minutes but a strong defensive effort forced them to longshots which Scullion dealt with well. A super hard-fought win for the team. Full time 2-3
Panel: J Scullion, L Herbison, L Rea, C Meeke, J Coates, J Dallas, C Bailes, R Mark, N Esler, L Spurgeon, C Fullerton, R Boomer, C O'Neill, S Foster
Northend United 2 St Marys B 1 Saturday 12th October 2019
Northend started their South Belfast League campaign against St Marys B. The lads started the match at a great tempo and creating chances. Jason Givens and Chris Fullerton both were set through by Cameron Bailes, but both pulled their shot wide. Niall Esler then had a piledriving shot saved by the keeper minutes later. It was a frustrating start for the Blues as the team performance was one of the best of the season so far, but they struggled to put the ball in the net. However, the breakthrough did come when Niall Esler drove a low ball across the box and Jason Givens slotted home.
Again, the midfield of Cameron Bailes and Joseph Dallas ran the game, with Bailes particularly impressive. Northend has 2 more clear chances which they failed to convert but Before half time Northend got a second. Again, a Niall Esler cross created the goal, as after a few deflections it fell to Leon Spurgeon who fired home. At half time Northend had a comfortable 2 goal lead but wondered if they would rue those missed chances. Half time 2-0
The second half changed style dramatically. St Marys came out with a much higher intensity and probably were the better team in the half. However, there were still chances for Northend as Jack Agnew again missed a chance when through on goal after a great run from Josh Coates. The Northend coaches tried to react to St Marys improvement by changing shape and filling the midfield, but the Belfast team did manage to get a goal back from a set piece. As the game came towards a close, both teams had chances which failed to be converted and Northend held on for the 2-1 win. Overall, it was a game of 2 halves with Northend Being great in the first half, and penned back in the second. Full time 2-1
A note must go to a few players who were brilliant. Luke Rea and Dylan Young were brilliant at the heart of defence until Young was withdrawn with an injury. Jason Givens managed a goal and a great performance on his first start of the season. But credit must go to Cameron Bailes who was by far the best player on the pitch on the day. St Marys could not deal with his pressing and dribbling, and he could have had 4 or 5 assists on another day.
Panel: J Scullion, L Herbison, L Rea, D Young, C Meeke, C Bailes, J Dallas, N Esler, C Fullerton, L Spurgeon, J Given, R Boomer, J Coates, J Agnew, R Mark
Northend United 2 Downpatrick 3 Saturday 28th september 2019
For this Friday night the 2001s travelled to Jordanstown to take on Downpatrick in the supplementary cup. The Blues didn't start the best on what was a small pitch, and in the wet struggled to get any rhythm into their game. A few half chances were had by both sides, but it was Downpatrick who broke the deadlock with a cross from the left which beat everyone and went in off the post. Northend fought back to a degree but still didn't click as a team.
Jason Givens won a free kick in a dangerous area just before half time. Jack Agnew's low strike was deflected in off Jason Givens to equal the scores at the break. Half time 1-1
The second half was a much better team performance from Northend, but they found themselves behind to a great long strike from a Downpatrick counter. This time however Northend found more rhythm going forward, and Niall Esler had an effort cleared off the line, before minutes later getting unlucky with a bounce as the Downpatrick keeper charged at him when through on goal.
It was Esler who made the difference though when a Charlie O'Neill lie cross was brilliantly dispatched into the top corner.
Sadly, as Northend pushed for the winner another counter attack saw them conceding late and losing 3-2. A disjointed team performance where the lads never really got going buy deserved a draw. Full time 2-3
Panel: J Scullion, L Herbison, L Rea, J Dallas, J Coates, J Agnew, J Givens, C Bailes, N Esler, C Fullerton, L Spurgeon, S Foster, C O'Neill
Northend United 5 Iveagh United 3 Saturday 21st September 2019
After a free week last week, the U18s travelled to the Cliff in Larne to face Iveagh United in the Supplementary Cup. With Northend losing their first game this was a must win game if they are to eventually progress out of the group and into the semi-finals. Northend got off to the perfect start and found themselves 1-0 up after just 5 minutes when Chris Fullerton was put through and holding off the defender fired into the roof of the net from a tight angle. Just a few minutes later and it was 2-0 after Jack Agnew struck a great half-volley from the left-hand side edge of the box into the far corner of the net. The goals continued in the first-half as Iveagh United pulled one back from the penalty spot before Northend were awarded a penalty of their own which was coolly slotted by Jack Agnew for his second of the game. Cameron Bailes also had a great chance to get himself on the scoresheet in the first-half as he picked the ball up on halfway and drove past several players only to put his shot narrowly wide. Half-time 3-1
Northend started the second half slowly and conceded two goals within the space of 10 minutes, all of a sudden it was game on again, 3-3. Northend responded well however and once again Chris Fullerton used his pace and power to hold off the defender and lob the keeper from just inside the box. Not long after he completed his hat-trick calmly slotting the ball past the keeper at his near post. Great performance from the whole squad in a must win game. Particular shout outs to the front three of Leon Spurgeon, Niall Esler and Chris Fullerton who lead from the front and pressed the Iveagh defence all game as well as Ryan Mark in midfield who sat in deep in the second half and cut out any Iveagh attacks. Full time 5-3
Panel: J Scullion, R Boomer, J Dallas, L Rea, D Young, C Bailes, R Mark, J Agnew, L Spurgeon, N Esler, C Fullerton, J Coates, L Herbison, S Foster, J Givens
Crewe United 4 Northend United 1 Saturday 7th September 21019
The first game of the season for the under 19s was a tough game against Crewe United. Northend has a good start with Ryan Boomer crossing to Leon Spurgeon to head in for the first goal of the season. Chris Fullerton soon had a second ruled out for a harsh offside and was also not awarded a penalty minutes later when it seemed he was through with an open net in front of him when he was bundled to the ground.
Straight up the other end, Crewe were awarded a lifeline with a penalty when Connor Meeke shoulder barged an opponent in the box. It seemed harsh on the Northend lad but Crewe dispatched the penalty to equalise. Half time 1-1
The second half started tight and Niall Esler has an early chance when he couldn't connect with a free kick. Crewe managed to play on the counter and scored 2 quick goals against the run of play to go 3-1 up.
Jack Agnew had 2 good chances which went array and Leon Spurgeon forced another good save, while it seemed another clear penalty wasn't given to Northend.
Crewe scored a late 4th to confirm the win in a poor game of football, where Northend felt they came off worse to some decisions Full time 4-1
Panel: T Givens, R Boomer, L Rea, J Dallas, C Meeke, J Agnew, D Young, R Mark, N Esler, C Fullerton, L Spurgeon, C Bailes, S Foster, L Herbison, J Coates