Northend United Youth U13s welcomed Belfast side, Glendowan, to Smithfield on Saturday in the NIBFA Cup and can consider themselves slightly unfortunate not to win the match in a keenly contested game.
With Ronan McKillop turning in a top performance for the Blues, it was Connor Meeke who scored Northend’s goal direct from a corner.
Elsewhere in the NIBFA Cup, the U16s match against Annagh United at the Showgrounds was called off.
The U15s travelled to Ballyclare to play their Lisburn League match against Ballyclare Colts after the Ballymena Showgrounds pitches were deemed unplayable and unfortunately lost the match.
It was a reduced programme of football in the North West and Coleraine District League due to school AQE tests but again it was the turn of the U10s to set the pace when they turned in a high scoring 5-5 draw against Ballymoney Athletic with ace marksman, Jay McKeown, taking his tally to 25 goals for the season. The U11s Youth team were involved in a friendly match with Ballymoney United and lost out by a 0-5 scoreline.
The U8s opened the weekend when they competed in an IFA sponsored tournament at Ballymoney on Friday night. This was followed by the U9s who continue to turn heads the new IFA sponsored competition held at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Saturday morning.
Finally, the Football Development Centre continued on Friday night at the Sentry Hill Sports Hall.
IFA SSG Tournament - Ballymoney
Northend United and Youth U8 teams were again in action when they travelled to Ballymoney on Friday night to participate in the the IFA tournament. They competed against teams from Ballymoney United, Ballymena United, Coleraine and Cloughmills in 12 minute games. Each of the teams played very well and everyone battled hard for every ball.
Northend United: L McDonald, M Campbell, F McKay, D Hector, J O’Gallagher, C Termania, N McKeown
Northend Youth: C Watt, C McCaughern, J Patterson, O McKeown, G Donnelly, L Campbell
IFA SSG Tournament – Ballymena
This Saturday saw both Northend U9 teams play 4 matches, including a derby in the ever growing IFA Tournament. Now with 8 teams involved with teams from Wellington Rec, Ballymena United, Coaching for Christ, Carniny and Larne Youth:
IFA Tournament U9 Results:
v Carniny 1-2
v Coaching for Christ A 5-0
v Northend Youth 2-0
v Ballymena A 6-2
Northend United: C Hendron, P McAuley, D Patterson, E Pirie, D Higgins, D Kowalski
Northend Youth Results
v Ballymena A 2-0
v Carniny 0-2
v Northend United 0-2
v Larne Youth 0-2
Northend Youth: S McDermott, P Mitchell, C Burnside, PP Donegan, O Maka, C Reid, C McKeown
Northend United 5, Ballymoney Athletic 5: Northend and Ballymoney played out a pulsating five all draw in what was a fantastic advert for youth football.
Northend broke the deadlock after three minutes when local goal machine Jay McKeown rolled the ball past the Ballymoney keeper. However, the score was soon level as Northend conceded from a corner after some smart movement from Ballymoney allowed their number 3 to nip in at the back post. Some last ditch tackling by Callum McAvoy kept the score line level as Athletic threatened on the counter.
Jay McKeown beat the last Ballymoney defender to pick up his second goal of the game after some great work on the left by Shea O’Broin. It was end to end stuff with Athletic hitting the post before a long range effort by Ben O’Neill drifted just wide.
A counter attack by Ballymoney was rewarded with a goal just before an almost identical goal by the Ballymena boys made the score 3-3 on the stroke of half time. Half time score 3-3
Northend quickly regained the lead after a thunderous effort by McKeown hit the crossbar and was followed up by the industrious Shea O’Broin who coolly slotted home. The score was again level as another counter attack by Ballymoney resulted in a great team goal.
Northend goalkeeper PJ McDonnell made three great saves within a 5 minute period of sustained Ballymoney pressure. A wonderful header by Zach Erwin gave Northend a 5-4 lead with just two minutes remaining. The Ballymena boys were unable to hold on for the victory as another slick counter attack by Athletic allowed them to equalise with virtually the last touch of the game. MOM - Ben O’Neill and Shea O’Broin
Northend: PJ McDonnell, R Campbell, B O’Neill, T Boyd, C McAvoy, J McKeown, S O’Broin, Z Erwin, E Mitchell.
Northend United 1 Glendowan 3: Glendowan went in front in the sixth minute of this match but Northend levelled the score when Connor Meeke scored direct from a corner kick, after he curled the ball into the Glendowan goal.
Not for the first time this season Northend kept giving the ball away and it wasn’t long before Glendowan went in front again when they scored from a corner kick. Half time score 1-2
Glendowan had most of the play in the opening ten minutes but Northend came more into the game and Ronan McKillop in midfield was in great form and was winning a lot of tackles and Northend missed many great chances to draw level before Glendowan went further in front when they were awarded a penalty which they scored to go 3-1 in front.
Northend still to their credit never gave up and again made enough chances to win the game but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
With virtually the last kick of the game, a Conor McDonald penalty crashed against the Glendowan upright after Charlie Metrustry was upended in the box as he tricked his way past two players and was then tripped. MOM - Ronan McKillop
Northend: O Connolly, M Stewart, J Montgomery, R McKillop, J Kirkpatrick, J Coates, R Gamble, C McDonald, J Givens, R Boomer, J Coates, C Metrustry, M Rainey, H Wylie, P Ferris, L Watson
Ballyclare Colts 4, Northend United 1: Due to the condition of the Ballymena pitches this hastily rearranged local derby match was held in Ballyclare.
Ballyclare started the strongest and took the game to Northend right from the off. The Blues players never got to grips with the lively Ballyclare forwards and conceded a goal after twenty minutes.
Worse was to follow five minutes later when an attempted clearance by a Northend defender only ended up in his nets giving Josh Mark, the Northend keeper no chance.
However the Northend heads didn’t drop and following a good throughball from Ben McGarvey, Kuba Babuszewski went close with a good shot. Half time score 2-0
Into the second half and following a good half time talk, the Blues came more into the game. With ten minutes on the clock in the second half, some great play from Brandon Millar, on the overlap, released Kuba Babuszewski with a throughball and the Blues top goalscorer made no mistake to reduce to the score to 2-1. Josh Mark was called upon to make a good save from a Ballyclare breakaway attack a few minutes later.
However the Blues were now having their best spell in the game and were looking like going on to score another goal but unfortunately ten minutes later, another defensive lapse in the Northend rearguard let the lively Ballyclare striker through on goal and he slipped the ball past the advancing Josh Mark.
This goal effectively killed off the game as a contest and Ballyclare scored a fourth goal five minutes before the end of the game. Final score 4-1
Northend: J Mark, J Penny, B Millar, D Dobbin (c), J Stevenson, A Shaw, B McGarvey, R Laverty, E McLaughlin, K Babuszewski, A Campbell, M Kirk, J Wharry, G Macartney, J Adams, S Hutchinson
FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT CENTRE
Northend United’s Football Development Centre continues on Friday 21st November at the Sentry Hill Sports Hall. The Football Development Centre is open to all boys and girls aged 4 to 8 inclusive who are unconnected with any other Club and takes from 6.00pm to 7.30pm.
For more information, or to reserve your child a place on the course, please call John Devlin on 07919056834. Application forms can also be printed off the Northend website www.northendunitedyouthfc.co.uk