Crumlin United 5 Northend United 0 Friday 19th November 2021
A very understrength Northend travelled to Crumlin on Friday night to play the league leaders and found themselves a goal down after ten minutes when Crumlin scored from a corner. Northend almost hit back immediately when Jack McIlhatton went on a driving run down the Northend left wing and steered the ball across the face of the Crumlin goal with nobody there to steer the ball home. Crumlin added to their total, when a defensive lapse allow their striker to cut inside and plant the ball into the corner of the Blues net. McIlhatton was again proving to be the dangerman for Northend and in a carbon copy of his first attack, he again found space on the Blues left wing and crossed the ball into the Crumlin box but again nobody from the Blues could get a touch on the ball. Crumlin went on to add another two goals just before half time, with the Northend midfield looking out of sorts. Half time 4-0
With some tactical changes made at half time, it was a different looking Northend in the second half. Northend should have pulled a goal back when Raul Puni found himself with an open goal but his header went just wide of the upright.
Towards the end of the half, Northend conceded a free-kick on the edge of their box and the Crumlin striker scored with an excellent shot into the top corner of the Northend net. Full time 5-0
Panel: J Bates, D Magill, J McIlhatton, S Crawford (c), O McAuley, R McKillop, B McCaughan, A Pescaru, M Las, R Puni, D Stokowiecki
Northend United 3 Kilmore Rec 1 Saturday 13th November 2021
Northend started this match on the front foot with the midfield of Ronan McKillop, Conor McKenna, Paul O’Boyle and Jack McIlhatton pulling the strings. It wasn’t long before Ronan McKillop opened the scoring for Northend when his shot looped the Kilmore keeper and into the top corner of the net.
Northend went on to add a second goal midway through the half, when Conor McKenna found space on the edge of the Kilmore penalty box and in a carbon copy of the first goal, looped the ball over the Kilmore keeper and into the top corner of their net.
Jack McIlhatton almost created a third goal when a great jinxing run down the Northend left wing and cross went tantalising across the Kilmore Rec goal line with no Blues player capable of getting a touch. On the stroke of half time Kilmore pulled a goal back when their left winger got over a cross which the Kilmore striker planted into the Northend net. Half time 2-1
Into the second half and Kilmore began to exert more pressure, but the Northend defence of Sam Crawford, Alix Bell and Ciaran Martin stood strong, with Crawford a tower in the middle of the Northend defence.
As the half wore on, Northend began to get more space in the Kilmore half but a series of holding onto the ball too long instead of quicker movements robbed Northend of extending their lead. With Andrei Pescaru on for Northend it wasn’t long before they finally extended their lead, when Ronan McKillop scored another goal with a great trike from outside the box.
The Ballymena boys seen out the remainder of the match to record a good win against a good Kilmore team. Full time 3-1
Panel: J Bates, A Bell, C Martin, S Crawford (c), O McAuley, O McGregor, P O’Boyle, C McKenna, R McKillop, J McIlhatton, M Las, A Pescaru
St James Swifts 3 Northend United 1 Saturday 6th November 2021
Northend started this game on the back foot with St James controlling the midfield exchanges. Northend conceded a corner after five minutes and St James punished them when their striker headed the ball into the Blues net.
It wasn’t long before McKillop went on a surging run for Northend but after a great ball into the box, none of the Northend strikers was there to meet it. Jack McIlhatton and Andre Pescaru were linking up well down the Northend left wing and McIlhatton’ s cross into the St James penalty box deserved better. Half time 1-0
The Blues made 2 changes at half time with Alix Bell and Adam Campbell coming into play. With the strong wind in their favour, Northend Went looking for an equaliser with Matty Las leading the Northend front line. However, as St James cleared the ball up the pitch, a mistake by a Northend defender allowed their striker to run in on goals and slip the ball past the Blues keeper.
Northend, having nothing to lose, pushed forward trying to get back in the game and from a Conor McKenna free kick, Paul O’Boyle rose highest to head the ball past the St James keeper.
With their tails up, Northend went looking for an equaliser but with the last kick of the game another defensive lapse allowed St James to score their third. Full time 3-1
Panel: O McGregor, C Martin (c), J McIlhatton, O McAuley, P O’Boyle, C McKenna, T McKinney, A Pescaru, M Las, A Bell, A Campbell, W Galloway