U-14s sparkle, but little festive cheer for Northend sides

Moira McAuley, one of the prizewinners in the Northend United Youth FC Christmas draw, receives her prize from club chairman Johnny Sayers.
Moira McAuley, one of the prizewinners in the Northend United Youth FC Christmas draw, receives her prize from club chairman Johnny Sayers.

With all of the various youth leagues now approaching a winter break, it was Mark Lecky’s Northend United Youth U14s who continued their recent good form with a hard fought 0-0 draw with Lisburn Distillery on Saturday.

Elsewhere there was a disappointing end to the year for the U13s, U15s and U16s who lost their matches against Lisburn Distillery and Hillsborough Boys.

A number of the teams are planning friendly matches over the shutdown in order to keep match fit with the younger teams looking forward to another Small Sided Games Football Blitz during the holidays.

However the busy Club never rests on its laurels and the Club’s Committee is busy planning a number of new initiatives for 2015.


Lisburn Distillery 0 Northend United 0: Northend, in the end, were disappointed not to take all three points in this match. They dominated the first half and should have gone into the break at least 2 goals clear. Conall Gordon and Conor McGarry both had great chances to score but pick of the bunch was Ruairi Campbell’s piledriver from 35 yards which hit the post and bounced wide. Despite creating several great chances, they failed to score.

The second half was more even and Lisburn Distillery, like all top sides, could have nicked this with 5 minutes to go. Conall Gordon and Tom Patchett had great chances to put Northend ahead early in the second half, but sadly missed.

Lisburn had a great chance to score in the last few minutes, but the match ended in a hard fought 0-0 draw.

Man of the Match: Ryan Lorimar

Panel: C Brennan, S Frew, T McAuley (c), J Brady, R Lorimer, R Iovu, R Campbell, R McCluney, T Patchett, C McGarry, C Gordon, M Willighan, C Fullerton


Northend United 0 Lisburn Distillery 6: This was a poor showing from a U15 team who throughout this season have been inclined to throw in the towel too easily in some matches.

Distillery dominated the first half to lead by a four goal margin, despite keeper Josh Mark being in top form for Northend.

Into the second half and it was a better showing from Northend, with Jamie Stevenson pulling the strings for the Blues in midfield. However a more confident Distillery side ran on to score another two goals in a well deserved win. Final score 0-6

Man of the Match: Josh Mark, Jamie Stevenson

Panel: J Mark, B Millar, J Hayburn, D Dobbin (c), A Shaw, S Hutchinson, J Wharry, J Stevenson, J Penny, R Laverty, G Macartney, E McLaughlin, B McGarvey, M Kirk, J Adams


Northend United 0, Hillsborough Boys 4: This match was never a 4-0 scoreline with Northend missing a number of chances to score while on top in this match and conceded the softest of goals at the wrong moments.

The match started with Northend on the front foot and Sam Bennett was causing the Hillsborough defence all sorts of problems with his attacking wing play. As early as the fifth minute, Bennett outpaced his marker down the Northend right wing and crossed into the Hillsborough penalty box where Jamie Houston’s shot was well saved by the Hillsborough keeper.

On twelve minutes Stephen Olliver saw his shot cannon off the Hillsborough crossbar and get cleared to safety, following a good pass from Zack Herbison.

On fifteen minutes, Jamie Houston intercepted the ball from a poor defensive clearance and outpaced his marker and slipped the ball to Zach Herbison, who saw the Hillsborough keeper make a good save from his shot.

On twenty-five minutes, Northend conceded a needless free-kick twenty-five yards out. When the ball was delivered into the Northend box, it wasn’t dealt with at the back post and their striker planted the ball into the corner of an empty net.

However Northend weathered this setback and came storming back at Hillsborough. Sam Bennett again jinxed his way past the Hillsborough full-back and saw his well placed cross go wide of the upright.

With minutes of the half remaining, a high ball launched at the Northend defence wasn’t dealt with and the Hillsborough striker ran on and headed the ball over the advancing Lewis McFall in the Northend nets. Half time score 0-2

Into the second half and instead of taking advantage of the strong breeze, Northend sat back and invited Hillsborough to attack them. Northend introduced Andrew Milligan and Lewis McFall was called upon to make a good save from the Hillsborough striker. However Hillsborough added a third goal twenty minutes into the half.

Northend introduced substitutes Cameron Neilly and Oliver Boyle with fifteen minutes of the half remaining. It was almost an inspired substitution as Neilly took a firm grip on the game and twice jinxed past his Hillsborough marker and seen his shots hit the side-netting, with the keeper well beaten on both occasions.

Cameron Neilly was causing the Hillsborough defence all sorts of problems and with five minutes remaining, jinxed past his marker again and instead of shooting, slipped the ball to Oliver Boyle whose shot was well saved by the Hillsborough keeper.

With the game almost up, Hillsborough added a fourth goal when their striker ran from what Northend believed was an offside position to plant the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

Panel: L McFall, J Galbraith, L McAllister, R McKenna (c), R Dennison, T Campbell, B Cairns, S Bennett, S Olliver, J Houston, Z Herbison, A Milligan, J Dawson, O Boyle, C Neilly


1st Prize- Morte Staygeiski - Cushendall

2nd Prize – Meabh Connolly - Ballymena

3rd Prize – Andrew Milligan - Portglenone

4th Prize – Moira McAuley – Ballymena


The Northend United Committee would like to take this opportunity to wish all our sponsors, coaches, players and supporters a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year.