The U15s turned in a top team performance on Saturday against Greenisland Boys, dominating most of the game, but can count themselves unfortunate to only earn a point.
The U16s will also feel unfortunate to only earn a draw against North Belfast United.
The U14s put last week’s result behind them, with a good 4-1 win over Newry based side, Midway. The U13s were also in action against Midway, but this time lost the match, although team coach John Devlin will be encouraged by a number of promising individual displays.
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 good 7-2 win over Limavady Colts.
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.
★Northend United U8s travelled to Ballymoney on Friday night to play in the IFA tournament. They competed against teams from Ballymoney United, Ballymena United, Coleraine and Cloughmills in 12 minute games.
Northend: L McDonald, M Campbell, C Swann, R McClintock, J Gallagher
The first Saturday of the IFA SSG Tournament after the Halloween break saw both Northend U9 teams play five matches, including a derby in the ever growing IFA Tournament.
Northend United’s results were: v Coaching for Christ A 2-2; v Coaching for Christ B 5-0; v Ballymena B 2-0; v Carniny 3-2; v Northend Youth 2-2
Northend United: C Hendron, P McAuley, D Patterson, K McAlister, E Pirie, D Higgins, D Kowalski.
Northend Youth results: v Ballymena B 3-1; v Coaching for Christ A 4-3; v Ballymena A 1-5; v Wellington Rec 2-1; v Northend United 2-2.
Northend Youth: S McDermott, C Lyness, C Burnside, J Mark, O Maka, C Reid, C McKeown.
Northend United 7, Limavady Youths 2: The game began at a frantic pace with both teams going close before a tidy finish by Jay McKeown gave Northend the lead, which was soon doubled by Eoin Mitchell before Limavady reduced the deficit before half-time.
Northend knocked in two quick fire goals from danger men Eoin Mitchell and Jay McKeown at the start of the second half before a sublime free kick from Shea O’Broin.
Limavady were able to pull back another goal as some more lax Northend marking again allowed them to score from a corner kick.
Three more goals followed, the pick of which was a fantastic counter attacking goal involving build up play from Jay McKeown and Shea O’Broin before a composed finish from McKeown.
Northend: PJ McDonnell, R Campbell, S Bristow, B O’Neill, C McAvoy, J McKeown, S O’Broin, Z Erwin, E Mitchell .
Northend United 2, Dungiven Celtic 7: Northend lost out in a friendly match agains their north west opponents with Sam Crawford scoring both goals for the Blues. MOM - Darragh Killough and Ben Harkin
Northend: D Killough; C Mellon; C Martin; C O’Brien; S Crawford; K Dziadkowiec; C Lennon; B Harkin; S Byrne; C McKillop.
Windmill 6, Northend United 1: Northend lost this match in the first half when they failed again to close down their opponents quickly.
In the second half Northend put in a far better performance with Matthew Stewart and Ryan Mark the stand out players with Stewart scoring the only goal for Northend.
Northend: E McSparran, M Stewart, J Coates, R Mark, O Connolly, R Gamble, C Metrustry, C McDonald, J Kirkpatrick, J Givens, P Ferris, R Boomer, M Rainey, H Wylie, R McKillop.
Windmill 1, Northend United 4: Despite going one nil down on eight minutes, Northend shook themselves down and played arguably their best football of the season.
Ryan Lorimer equalised with a superb near post header from a Conor McGarry cross before Robert Iovu put Northend ahead five minutes before the break.
In the second half, Ruairi Campbell and Robert Iovu scored almost identical goals within the space of five minutes, both finishing well after dribbling at pace through the Windmill defence.
Northend: C Brennan, T McAuley (c), S Lecky, J Brady, S Frew, M Willighan, R Iovu, R Campbell, T Patchett, C McGarry, R Lorimer, C Gordon, R Jones, C Fullerton.
Greenisland 2, Northend United 2: Against the run of play, Greenisland took the lead midway through the first half when a throughball placed their striker clear of the Northend defence and he ran on and slipped the ball past Josh Mark in the Northend nets.
Ten minutes into the second half Northend equalised after a period of sustained pressure. Kuba Babuszewski picked up the ball on the edge of the Greenisland box and slipped the ball past their keeper.
However the Blues joy was short lived; when they conceded a goal two minutes later when the Greenisland winger crossed the ball across the face of the Northend goals and their striker stroked the ball into the Northend nets, past a helpless Josh Mark.
It looked like it wasn’t going to be Northend’s day again but with five minutes of the match remaining, Kuba Babuszewski unleashed a good shot, which the Greenisland keeper couldn’t hold and Eoin McLaughlin was on hand to stroke the ball into the net.
Northend: J Mark, J Adams, B Millar, D Dobbin (c), A Shaw, B McGarvey, J Stevenson, R Laverty, S Hutchinson, K Babuszewski, A Campbell, E McLaughlin, M Kirk, J Wharry, G Macartney.
Northend United 2, North Belfast United 2: Northend started this match strongly and took the lead after four minutes when a good move down the Northend left wing involving Lee McAllister and Zack Herbison, led to a great throughball to Jamie Houston to run on and plant the ball past the advancing keeper.
But their joy was short lived when they conceded a bizarre goal on eight minutes. As the ball was passed back to a North Belfast defender, he unleashed a long punt upfield which caught Northend keeper Bradley Cairns on the edge of his penalty area and unable to get back to prevent the ball entering the net.
On twenty minutes the relentless Northend pressure paid off. Again good work from Lee McAllister down the Northend left wing found Zack Herbison in space and after he had slid the ball past a North Belfast defender, he lofted the ball into the North Belfast penalty box, where Jamie Houston met it with full force and planted the ball into the corner of the Belfast net, to leave the score 2-1.
Northend felt they should have been awarded a penalty after a North Belfast defender appeared to block Zack Herbison’s shot on their goal line with his hand, but the referee though otherwise.
However games turn on decisions and after thinking they should have been 3-1 ahead the Blues conceded a North Belfast equaliser, minutes before half time, with some poor defending to leave the score all level and that is how it stayed until the end.
Northend: B Cairns, C Cunningham, J Galbraith, R McKenna (c), R Dennison, T Campbell, C Graham, L McAllister, M Mucka, J Houston, Z Herbison, M Waide, A Milligan, J Dawson, C Neilly, O Boyle
Congratulations to Alex McDonald, Gavin Burnside and Brian Martin who become the latest coaches at Northend to be accredited with the Coerver Coaching Youth Diploma.
Northend became the pioneers in Ballymena for Coerver Coaching when they signed a strategic development plan with Coerver a few years ago and the progress the Club is making can be seen in the outstanding performances of the younger teams including the U8s, U9s and U10s teams where the standard remains amongst the highest in the borough.
NIBFA CUP DRAWS
The Wakehurst Academy Club had six teams in the hat for the NIBFA cup draws this week, as three of the teams earned home draws.
The U11s were given a home draw against neighbours Ballymoney United in a local derby match while the U12s travel to play Derry and District side Don Boscos in round 2 of the competition.
John Devlin’s U13s have been paired at home against Belfast side, Glendowan, at fortress Smithfield, while Mark Lecky’s U14s should have too much fire power when they travel to Belfast to play St Oliver Plunketts Colts.
Johnny Sayers U15s travel to play Institute at Drumahoe in Round 2 of their competition in a match where they could cause an upset, while Mark Herbison’s U16s are looking to take their good Cup form into this competition when they welcome Annagh United to Ballymena.