MAIDEN City Academy remain in second spot in the Under-16 National League following last weekend’s 4-1 victory over local rivals Tristar Boys’ at the YMCA Playing Fields in Drumahoe.
In what proved a very scrappy first half, it was Tristar who opened the brighter putting the home defence under pressure from the outset. An early chance for McKeever forced Mulcahy into a good save in the MCA goal. Tristar continued to apply the pressure but Gibson and Leonard dealt comfortably with any threat.
In the midfield battle, N. Ireland internationals, McEneff and Glackin, were beginning to assert their authority as MCA wrestled control of the game from their opponents. Indeed it was McEneff, receiving a pass from McClay, who produced an unbelievable strike from 30 yard to put his side ahead with 20 minutes gone.
However, that lead was short-lived as Tristar capitalised on some slack play by MCA to send the sides in level at half-time.
The second half began with MCA now in control and Aaron Patterson, who was having a quiet game, crossed from the right and an unfortunate Tristar defender could only turn the ball past his own keeper when under pressure from Hegarty.
Maiden City increased their lead when substitute, Sam McKelvey, nodded the ball home from Surgeoner’s cross. McKelvey finished off the scoring when crashing the ball past Breslin in the Tristar goal.
Under-15 National League
Oxford United Stars . . . .4
Portadown . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Oxford maintained their good National League form at Under-15 level with a comprehensive victory over Portadown last weekend.
The local side started well settling into their 3-5-2 formation with Jordan Armstrong, Jason Sweeney and Dean Boyle were very prominent and in total control.
Indeed after good work from Armstrong and Boyle forced a corner and Mark McGroarty’s fine delivery was headed home by Sweeney to place Oxford in the driving seat.
Sweeney then turned provider when he linked up well with Michael McCallion and delivered a pin point cross for Alex Murphy to head home to make it 2-0.
Oxford continued to press with some excellent passing moves and Murphy was in the right place to power home another excellent header. Portadown were struggling to cope with Oxford’s pace and movement and the Derry side moved further ahead when a great passing move spanning the length of the pitch was finished off by in-form striker, Connelly Deeney, on the stroke of half-time.
The second half proved a different story with Portadown getting to grips with the game and getting a goal back early on after a good passing move.
Oxford had chances with Shane Brown and Jordan Armstrong coming close from distance and Murphy narrowly missing out on his hat-trick when he struck the post. Portadown again came close late on but stand in keeper Dylan McCallion pulled of a fine save.
National League Under-13
Maiden City Academy . . . . . . 2
Dungannon United Youth . . . 2
Dungannon opened the scoring in this Under-13 game when a ball played into the box was turned home by the alert visiting striker.
But 10 minutes before half-time Maiden City eventually got into their stride. A ball played in from the left saw Adam Dougherty control and turn in one movement and attack the defender before shooting from outside the area and his shot found its way under the diving Tom McDermot.
Once MCA levelled they were tranformed and now looked threatening when going forward.
Maiden City became frustrated when when Dungannon moved back into the driving seat in the second half as claims for a foul on Justin McFaul were dismissed by the referee and the Dungannon centre back launched a high ball over City defence before their centre forward drove the ball past the helpless Shay Cross.
Once again it took an Adam Dougherty strike to get his side back in the game. A cross from the left made its way to the back post were Dougherty fired it past McDermott to level matters for a second time.
This goal lifted City again who now had the visitors penned into there own half. Dylan McCorkell ahd an oppurtunity to win the game for City when Dungannon failed to clear and McCorkell took the shot on first time but his strike was well held by McDermott.