Wakehurst U16s, in a rare appearance in Ballymena, were unlucky not to win their Northern Ireland Boys’ FA Cup match at the weekend.
Losing by a 2-1 margin to Lisburn League side Hillsborough, the boys had the balance of play and had created chances to go on and win this match.
Davy Wylie’s in-form U13s again proved what a good team they are; when they easily defeated their local National League neighbours Ballymena United by a 5-2 scoreline. Wylie’s Lisburn Youth League team have been turning heads all season and Saturday’s win was another feather in their cap in this hotly contested derby match..
Elsewhere, most of the Northend fixtures were cancelled due to the inclement weather.
Ballymena United 2, Northend United 5: The first half of this match was a tight affair with Ballymena taking the lead early on. Northend were giving Ballymena too much space in midfield, but Harry Wylie dealt comfortably with everything in defence.
Ciaran Campbell, playing in an attacking midfield role, got Northend’s equaliser ten minutes before half time.
Northend started the second half on the front foot and Callum Higgins was pulling the strings in midfield. He was first to every ball, allowing Ciaran Campbell to break forward. It was Ciaran Campbell who got his second goal of the match in a well worked move from midfield, splitting open the Ballymena defence.
In almost a carbon copy of this goal, Ronan McKillop scored Northend’s third goal. His pace took him away from the Ballymena defence and he coolly slipped the ball past the advancing Ballymena keeper.
It was all Northend at this point and Ciaran Campbell got his hat-trick from a clever free kick. Harry Wylie dummied a shot and Campbell riffled his shot over the advancing Ballymena keeper, going in off the underside of the crossbar.
Ballymena pulled a goal back shortly after, making it 4-2 but Ronan McKillop got Northend’s fifth goal with another break from midfield, beating the Ballymena keeper again with a well placed shot.
This was another good performance from the Northend Blues, playing against a National League team.
Northend: A Campbell, J Morrow, H Wylie, J Montgomery, R McKillop, C Higgins, C Campbell, R McQuillan, C McGaughey, P Esler, J Casey and A Caulfield.
Wakehurst 1, Hillsborough 2: With 25 minutes gone in the first half and Wakehurst still dominating they got hit with a sucker punch when Hillsborough opened the scoring with their first shot of the match.
In a tighter second half and with the Wakehurst midfield were working really hard to keep them on top chances were at a minimum. Then with 20 minutes remaining and with time in the box Hillsborough extended their lead.
A chance arose to pull one back when the ever more influencing Jacob Penny was brought down in the box for a penalty. Up stepped Aaron Campbell with a well struck shot only to see the keeper pull off an excellent one handed save low to his left.
Then, from Campbell’s resulting corner, Declan Dobbin rose highest to power a header into the net. Wakehurst were throwing everything at Hillsborough now in an attempt to equalise, and in the last minute with Jacob Penny linking up well with Ben McGarvey, he was brought down, this time the referee saying just on the edge of the box, to Wakehurst’s frustration. Campbell struck the free kick with power only for it to beat the keeper but not the retreating defender on the line.
Northend: A Montgomery, B Millar, D Dobbin, A Shaw, J Penny, J McLarnon, R Laverty, A Campbell, J O’Loughlin, J Fleming, D McCalmont, M Erwin, M Kirk, B McGarvey, T Barr