The new season kicked off in the Lisburn League for Northend United Youth sides at the weekend and it was the U14s who turned in a performance of the day when they beat Lurgan Town by a 7-1 scoreline.
Mark Lecky’s team have been slowly building on their Foyle Cup performances, during preseason in preparation for the League opener.
The new-look U16s were unlucky not to take all the points in their 1-1 draw with Hillsborough Boys, in a match were a series of first-half missed chances cost the Ballymena boys dearly.
The U13s and U14s both lost their matches against Lisburn Youth and Greenisland respectively.
The Northend U10 team continued their pre-season playing in a mini tournament with Ballymena United and Ballymena United Youths.
After a hard-fought scoreless draw against a strong Ballymena United team, the Blues produced an impressive display to beat the United Youths side 5-0.
The impressive Eoin Mitchell opened the scoring after a bursting run from the halfway line before he coolly slotted the ball into the corner of the net.
Five minutes into the second half saw the first goal for substitute Jay McKeown after good work by Mitchell and then from a mistake in the Ballymena defence, McKeown was quickest to react to slot the ball home.
McKeown then took a corner which took an unlucky deflection off a Ballymena player to end in the back of the net. McKeown rounded off an impressive display with a cool finish to complete his hat-trick.
Northend: C Lutton, S Bristow, B O’Neill, J McKeown, E Mitchell, T Boyd, Z Erwin, C McGarry, A Long.
Lisburn Youth 6, Northend 2: In the opening game of the season Northend were drawn against last season’s champions and were up against it from the first whistle, but they fought right to the end.
A plus for Northend was the two great goals that they scored with Matthew Stewart and Conor McDonald finishing of two great moves which started from the back. MOM - Jay Kirkpatrick, Josh Coates.
Northend: H Wylie, J Kirkpatrick, C Meeke, C Killough, J Givens (c), R Gamble, C Metrustry, O Connolly, C Forsythe, M Stewart, C McDonald, P Ferris, Marc Rainey, J Coates.
Lurgan Town 1, Northend 7: Northend’s opening goal came from a Ruairi Campbell penalty after Ryan Lorimer had been brought down by the goalkeeper.
Lurgan equalised against the run of play but two more Campbell goals saw him complete a first half hat-trick.
Ten minutes into the second half, John Brady made it 1-4, before Robert Iovu put Ruairi Campbell through to score his fourth.
Campbell set up Ryan Lorimer to scored on his debut to make it six, while Thomas McAuley rounded off the scoring with Northend’s seventh goal. MOM - John Brady, Ruairi Campbell.
Northend: C Brennan, T McAuley, S Lecky, R McCluney, S Frew (c), R Iovu, T Patchett, J Brady, R Lorimer, R Campbell, C McGarry, C Gordon, M Willighan, N Craig.
Greenisland Boys 4, Northend 1: The Blues were made to pay for a series of first half chances squandered, when they conceded four goals in a crazy start to the second half of the match.
Northend looked to be in a good position as they led 1-0 at half-time after Jordan Adams curled home a free kick.
But conceding what appeared a sfot penalty two minutes into second half sent Northend into a tailspin and they conceded three more goals in a 10-minute spell as their defensive frailties were exposed.
Northend: J Mark, B Millar, J Hayburn, D Dobbin, A Shaw, J Stevenson, B McGarvey, J Adams, S Hutchinson, G Macartney, J Penny, J Wharry, M Kirk, K Babuszewski, E McLaughlin, R Laverty.
Hillsborough Boys 1, Northend 1: Mark Herbison’s new look U16 team travelled to Lisburn on Saturday for the first League match of the season against Hillsborough Boys.
Bradley Cairns was the provider for Northend’s opening goal when he crossed the ball into a Hillsborough box and following a Jamie Houston header, Zack Herbison was on hand to drive the ball into the bottom corner of the Hillsborough net.
However the Blues, were always susceptible to the counter-attack and this happened on the stroke of half time with an equaliser and there was no further scoring in the second half.
Northend: R Horner, O Boyle, L McAllister, R McKenna, R Dennison, J Houston, T Campbell, J Savage, S Bennett, B Cairns, Z Herbison, C Neilly, M Waide, S Olliver, A Milligan
FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT CENTRE
Northend United’s Football Development Centre commenced on Monday night at Ballymena Showgrounds pitch 3.The Football Development Centre is open to all boys and girls aged 4 to 10 inclusive who are unconnected with any other Club and takes place each Monday night 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