There was no home comfort for the two Northend United Youth FC sides playing in NIBFA competitions in Ballymena on Saturday.
Joe Kidd’s U11s just failing to progress into the quarter finals, losing their match against Irish League Academy side, Warrenpoint Town by a 3-2 scoreline.
The U12s United also failed to make the quarter finals, losing to Killyleagh YC, in another entertaining game.
Northend United 2, Warrenpoint Town 3: Northend went close early on with Ben O’Neill hitting a long-range effort which crashed off the bar.
Warrenpoint broke quickly following a Northend corner to take the lead but Northend responded brilliantly and got the equaliser when Ben O’Neill burst through from midfield with his shot being saved. The rebound fell to Shea O’Broin and his effort was saved as well but as the ball fell to O’Neill there was no way he was going to be denied a second time as he smashed the ball into the back of the net to the delight of the fans.
Warrenpoint hit Northend with a sucker punch at the end of the first half when slack marking at a corner let the forward in for a soft goal to leave it 1-2 at half-time.
The second half started with Northend pressing forward in search of the equaliser again. An early corner was floated across by O’Broin and big centre half Callum McAvoy rose to send a header towards the bottom corner but it somehow came back of the post and as it fell into McAvoy’s path he drilled the ball straight into the mid-riff of the keeper.
The deserved equaliser eventually came when Ben O’Neill burst forward from midfield with some delightful skill as he beat 2 men and got the shot away and as the keeper parried his effort Jay McKeown was on hand to drill the ball into the net.
With Northend pushing forward Warrenpoint won the ball back and counter attacked at pace to take the lead with only 2 minutes to go.
A special thanks to the many supporters who turned up and made themselves heard and encouraged the team throughout. Also a special thanks to the many mothers who put on a fantastic spread after the match.
Northend: G McClean, B Adams, C McAvoy, Z Erwin, B O’Neill, S Bristow, S O’Broin, J McKeown, B Bell, K Wakefield, J Magill.
Northend United 0, Killyleagh YC 3: The opening half finished scoreless but Northend went close when Tyrone Mitchell thundered a long range volley off the Killyleagh bar.
Killyleagh edged themselves ahead seven minutes into the second half when Northend failed to clear a loose ball in the box.
The County Down side landed a sucker punch when they were allowed too much time on the edge of the area and doubled their lead and then notched a third as Northend committed men forward.
Northend: C Wilson, D Magill, J Adams, O Campbell, K Cosgrove, T Mitchell, K Barr, L Hector, C McMurray S McDowell and D McKay.
Northend Youth 7, Ballymoney YL 1: After a three month winter break Northend started the game strong with Cal O’Brien scoring in the first five minutes. It didn’t take him long to score his second from a great through ball from man of the match Ben Harkin.
Sam Crawford made it 3-0 after great work from the midfield. Five minutes from half time Cal O’Brien got his hat trick to make it 4-0 for Northend.
Northend added to their tally after the break with Cal O’Brien connecting with an excellent pass from Niall Devine and safely putting the ball at the back of the net to secure his fourth of the game. Ciaran Martin was next on the scoresheet when he wriggled his way past 3 defenders to toe poke it into the back of the net. The lads were not finished and it was Niall Devine who got the next.
Northend: Gabriel Farias, Ciaran Martin, Sam Crawford, Ben Harkin, Jack Connor, Niall Devine, Cal O Brien, Kasper Dziadkowiec, Andre Pescaru
Hillsborough 2, Northend United 0: A goal in each half did the damage for Northend - a harsh score line for the boys after putting so much effort and hard work into the game.
Northend: C Richmond, J Montgomery, R McKillop, H Wylie, P Ferris, C Campbell, J Morrow, A Campbell, R McQuillan, C Higgins, J Casey and C McGaughey.
Windmill 5, Northend United 0: A depleted Northend team came up against an excellent Windmill Stars team.
The end result seemed a little harsh as the Blues defended wonderfully against a potent Windmill attack and the management will take more positives than negatives from a very tough match.
Northend: L Rea, M Stewart, C Forsythe, J Kirkwood, C Meeke, D Robinson, R McMullan, J Dallas, J Currie, Z Clarke, C McDonald, S Foster, C Barr.