The under 14’s put in a star performance to run out comfortable winners against North End, click on the link below to find out who scored all the goals…
Saturday 24th November – Lisburn Invitational Junior League under 14’s
Downpatrick FC 7 v North End 0
On Saturday, the weather was very inclement; it was very cold and windy which upset the rhythm for both teams. As much as Downpatrick tried to play football, the final pass was missing and the tempo was fragmented. The defence of Conaill Gardiner, Sean Og Burns, Brian Kennedy and Andrew McGrattan were defensively strong, but, little movement from team mates and the delivery of pass was missing, this slow play allowed North End to receive possession. Downpatrick managed to get onto the ball a lot and were creating half chances for Andrew McLean and Nathan Maguire, but, they were naïve in their play. Again, a little more composure from the front two would have achieved better outcomes.
Ethan Breen and Ethan Artt were getting no joy down the flanks, Connor Rogan and Oran Bolton were getting overrun in midfield, and they were missing tackles and holding onto the ball too long. Dylan Connolly got possession of the ball from a North End attack and his wind assisted kick down field allowed McLean to run onto the ball and he scored his first of the game.
The impetus was with Downpatrick, as they made changes to personnel, Liam Toner and Colin Jones came into the fray for Maguire and McLean. Toner made an instant impact when found Bolton who ran on and scored. Gardiner was getting a lot of joy and was pushing up field, when he was received a pass from Bolton; Gardiner shot from about twenty yards out, the ball went through a crowd and ended up in the back of the net for his first of the season. Downpatrick were attacking North End time and time again and from a cross by Breen, Rogan shot and scored, but, Jones was in an off-side position and the goal was disallowed.
Half Time: Downpatrick FC 3 v North End 0
Downpatrick made a few more changes to formation and personnel at half time and this made for some good football. It was football of a different kind; the boys trying to move the ball quickly and North End were unable to deal with the quick attacking play. Another quick goal by us at the start of the second half, allowed Bolton to find McLean who then scored his second of the game with a good finish.
Jones, Toner, Bolton, Artt were getting chances at goal, but, North End’s keep pulled off some magnificent saves to deny them. A resulting corner led to the next goal, Artt put in another fantastic delivery and the ball came to McLean who slotted home from four yards, a hat-trick on his debut.
North End was still trying to play football and were having chances of their own, Connolly, Gardiner, Kennedy, Og Burns and McGrattan stood firm. Colin Jones, Ethan Artt, Liam Toner and Nathan Maguire were still producing fine displays, but, screwed their shots wide or let play break down. Downpatrick were now on top of the midfield and making chances for the forward line.
Another attack from us led to the sixth goal, McLean created an overlapping run and he put in a cross, the ball went loose and Artt managed to beat Toner in a foot race to the ball and he slotted home. Toner was disappointed, but, this was short-lived, as he scored the seventh and final goal. Good defensive tackling by Rogan allowed him to win possession and he put Toner in, Liam Toner ran thirty yards and coolly put the ball past the goalkeeper into the net. A goal he deserved for all his hard work and efforts. There was one last opportunity which fell to North End, Gardiner under pressure managed to hit his own bar from about twenty yards out, North End’s forward hit a point blank shot which Connolly saved form eight yards out and the ball was scrambled away. The desire to keep a clean sheet epitomised the spirit in the team performance today.
North End played their part in this match it was not as one-sided as it looks. The referee applauded both sets of players and management for their style of play and approach to the game.
A good result for the boys, morale was high and the team spirit was strong.