Northend United 3 Willowbank United 4 Friday 11th February 2022
This match was played on Friday night at Crumlin, in blustery conditions. Northend started the slowest, playing into a strong wind, and Willowbank were ahead in five minutes, when a through ball caught the Blues defence and keeper off guard, allowing the Willowbank striker to score. Northend gradually grew into the game and Matty Las should have given them the lead, delaying his shot on two occasions, after linking up with Kai Barr. The Blues defence of Martin, McIlhatton and Telford were working overtime, defending into the strong wind. Willowbank extended their lead midway through the half after their striker ran through the Northend defence.
However, the Blues clawed their way back in the game with ten minutes of the half remaining, when Connor McKenna got in behind the Willowbank defence and squared the ball to Kai Barr, who made no mistake from the edge of the Willowbank box. With Millar and O達oyle putting in a shift in midfield it looked like Northend would go into half time full of confidence. However, Willowbank scored with a free-kick in the last minute of the first half. Half time 1-3
Into the second half and the Blues knew an early goal would get them in the game. With Owen Campbell and Conall O達oyle introduced for Northend, the Blues took the game to Willowbank. Jack McIlhatton was looking dangerous, playing in behind Matty Las, and from a Ciaran Martin through ball after 12 minutes of the half, McIlhatton outpaced his marker and scored from an acute angle.
It was all Northend at this stage of the game and the Blues thought they had drawn level in the match after Bradley had the ball in the net, only for the referee to give a surprising handball against a Northend player. However, Northend were still in the ascendency in the game and with Andrei Pescaru and Dawid Stokowiecki introduced into the game, the equaliser eventually came. Another excellent pass from captain Martin, found Matty Las in the box and he made no mistake to bring Northend level at 3-3
Just when it looked like the Blues would share the points in this game, a final Willowbank ball into the Northend box wasn稚 dealt with and Willowbank scored the winner with minutes of the match remaining. Full time 3-4
Panel: J McKendry, C Martin (c), J McIlhatton, O McAuley, J Telford, S Millar, C McKenna, P O達oyle, A Campbell, T Barr, M Las, A Pescaru, D Stokowiecki, C O達oyle, O Campbell
Northend United 2 Lisburn Distillery 1 Saturday 5th February 2022
The Blues went into this match off the back of some promising performances recently. Missing some players this week due to covid, the Blues started this match on the front foot with the midfield of McKenna, Ferris, O達oyle and Bell taking the game to Distillery. The first chance of the game came from a move involving Kai Barr and Paul O達oyle down the Blues left wing, before O達oyle swung the ball into the Distillery box, where Matty Las just failed to get on the end off. Distillery also were creating some chances, but a strong defensive partnership of Magill and Telford in the middle were dealing with whatever Distillery could throw at them.
Northend thought they had taken the lead when a speculative shot from Matty Las was destined for the top corner of the Distillery net, only for their keeper to pull off a top save. The Blues kept pushing forward and with Ciaran Martin and Jack McIlhatton providing options down each wing, it looked like it wouldn稚 be long before Northend opened the scoring.
However, in the really poor conditions, as Distillery mounted an attack with ten minutes remaining in the half, a speculative shot ended up in the back of the Northend net, much against the run of play. With Distillery heads now lifted, Northend had to defend for the remainder of the half, with the Blues defence again in top form. Half time 0-1
Into the second half and Distillery continued on where they left off in the first half, taking the game to Northend. As the Lisburn side went looking for a 2nd goal, a series of corners rained down on the Blues goal, with a point blank goalkeeping save keeping Northend in the game.
Northend knew they would have to change their formation to get anything out of the game and pushed Ferris forward with Ciaran Martin taking his position in midfield and Andre Pescaru coming on in right midfield. It wasn稚 long before this change paid dividends with Pescaru scoring a goal from the edge of the Distillery box, bringing the Blues level in the game, midway through the half. The Blues were now visibly lifted and with Owen Campbell also introduced to the game, they went looking for a winner. Patrick Ferris, who was causing the Distillery defence all sorts of problems with his persistent running, was hauled down in the Distillery box with ten minutes of the match remaining. Matty Las took the resultant kick and gave the Distillery keeper no chance, with the Blues now taking the lead in this game for the first time. Northend saw out the remaining minutes of the match with Telford and Magill in dominant form. Final score 2-1
Panel: O McAuley, C Martin, J McIlhatton, D Magill, J Telford, C McKenna, P Ferris, A Bell, P O達oyle, C Barr, M Las, A Pescaru, O Campbell
Aquinas Star 1 Northend United 0 Saturday 29th January 2022
Northend started this match on the back foot but gradually grew into the game, with Sam Millar and Tadhg McKinney getting to grips with the Aquinas midfield. The Blues defence of Martin, O達oyle, Magill and Telford were deling comfortably with whatever Aquinas could throw at them. The first opening of the match occurred on fifteen minutes, when Jack McIlhatton went on a mazy run down the Northend wing and cut inside but played a pass across the face of the Aquinas goal when he should really have shot, with the goal at his mercy. Northend could have taken the lead after twenty minutes, when Matty Las unleashed a fierce drive from twenty-five yards, only to see the Aquinas keeper push the ball over the bar. Half time 0-0
Into the second half and after five minutes the Northend defence was caught sleeping, when a ball into the Northend box wasn稚 dealt with, allowing the Aquinas striker to turn and slip the ball past Josh McKendry in the Blues nets. With Alix Bell and Ruben Shirley introduced and Ciaran Martin pushed into midfield, it was a different Northend team.
With Martin痴 persistent midfield play, Northend again grew into the half and when Matty Las beat his marker to get to the Aquinas by-line, his ball into the box found Jack McIlhatton, who really should have pulled Northend level. With further Substitutions of Dawid Stokowiecki and Andrei Pescaru, Northend went looking for that all important goal, but unfortunately Aquinas held out to earn the win. Full time 1-0
Panel: J McKendry, C Martin, C O達oyle, D Magill, J Telford, S Millar, T McKinney, O Campbell, J McIlhatton, K Barr, M Las, A Bell, D Stokowiecki, A Pescaru, R Shirley
St Marys Boys 5 Northend United 2 Friday 21st January 2022
Northend travelled to Jordanstown this week to play League leaders St Marys in what turned out to be a thrilling match for the large support. It was St Marys who opened the scoring after fourteen minutes when a great through ball caught the Northend defence square and the St Marys slipped the ball past McKendry in the Blues net.
Northend began to come more into the game with McKillop and Paul O達oyle in midfield backed up with Campbell and McKinney on the wings. A great move from the Blues, started by Conall O達oyle at left back and forwarded to Kai Barr in midfield, who was able to hold off his marker and slip the ball through the St Marys defence to Matty Las, and he made no mistake planting the ball beyond the St Marys keeper. The Glengormley team were rattled as Northend began to grow in confidence. The Blues defence of Magill, Montgomery, Martin and Conall O達oyle were dealing comfortably with whatever St Marys could through at them. However, on the 30 minute a misplaced pass in the Blues box allowed the St Marys striker to beat McKendry from close range. Northend were dealt a cruel blow right on half time when St Marys scored with the last kick of the half. Half time 3-1
Into the second half and it was only five minutes old, when after some pressurised play from Northend, involving another good pass from Kai Barr, Matty Las robbed the St Marys keeper and planted the ball into an open net. Northend went looking for the equaliser and Ronan McKillop could have provided it but for a last minute tackle from the St Marys defender.
St Marys grabbed their fourth goal with fifteen minutes of the match remaining to kill off the Blues fight back and with five minutes of the match remaining, added a fifth goal to take the shine of a good Northend performance, lessoned only by a raft of substitutions towards the end of the game. Special mention to Conall O達oyle, making his first full start of the season and turning in a top performance. Full time 5-2
Panel: J McKendry, C Martin, C O達oyle, D Magill, J Montgomery, P O達oyle, R McKillop, T McKinney, A Campbell, K Barr, M Las, A Bell, D Stokowiecki, J McFetridge
Northend United 2 Carrick Rangers 5 Friday 7th January 2022
Northend U18s travelled to the Cliff complex in Larne on Friday night for their match with Carrick Rangers. The Blues started the brightest and raced to a two goal lead within 15 minutes. On each occasion, Jack McIlhatton was the provider down the Northend left wing and Adam Campbell was on hand both times to steer the ball past the Carrick keeper.
Carrick pulled a goal back on twenty minutes, when a rash Northend tackle in the penalty box, resulted in a penalty which was duly converted. Within ten minutes, Northend conceded another needless challenge in their penalty box, which allowed Carrick to draw level in the game. Minutes before half time, Carrick scored their third when their striker found space in the Blues box. Half time 2-3
Into the 2nd half and as play became bogged down, there were scoring chances on both sides, before Carrick added to their total in a goalmouth scramble. Carrick went on to add a fifth goal midway through the half when a throughball allowed their striker to outpace the Northend defence and plant the ball in the corner of the net, from what looked like an offside position.
Northend came back with a bang in the last 10 minutes of the match, seeing a number of chances go abegging with Conor McKenna driving them forward at every opportunity and the Carrick keeper pulling off a number of good saves. Full time 2-5
Panel: D Hawksford, A Bell, R Shirley, S Crawford (c), D Magill, A Bell, P O達oyle, C Martin, P McKenna, J McIlhatton, A Campbell, M Las, D Stokowiecki , C O達oyle