ACADEMY SIDES BACK IN ACTION AGAIN

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Under-9s

Coleraine Academy U9s took on Ballymoney U10s in a friendly fixture with Ballymoney running out 4-1 winners in a game packed with some lovely passing football, good goals, excellent saves and great entertainment.

Coleraine shocked the older Ballymoney boys by taking the lead following some nice passing play by Bobby Millar, David Huffington and Lewis Tosh leaving Rafferty MacKay to finish low into the corner. Jake Speers, Oliver Henry and Peter Nevin dealt well with the lively Ballymoney forwards with Peter Nevin having to leave the field with a bad cut to his knee following yet another committed tackle. Ballymoney played their part in an entertaining match with the forwards finished their chances well.

A good team performance with players playing in unfamiliar places allowing the coaching team to try out some new tactics. Good performances from Daniel Forsythe in defence and Reece Watton, promoted from the Olympic, showing well in a determined performance from this young side. Roll on the league staring again.

Man of the Match: Jake Speers

After a long period of inactivity Coleraine U9 Olympic faced strong opposition in Oak Athletic at Ballysally.

The Olympic side showed strong commitment against a good side with fast players. Harry McDowell in goals and the defence of Jack Collins and Ethan Speers were in determined mood and repelled any attacks until on the strike of halftime a marvellous first touch and finish had the Derry side ahead.

Reece Watton, Fletcher White and Cameron Black played some neat passing football creating a few chances for front man Ethan Best but the Olympic just couldn’t get the ball in the net.

The second half started poorly for Olympic with Oak scoring again but instead of allowing their heads to drop the Olympic scored a great team goal. Some nice passing from front to back from Fletcher White and Reece Watton allowed sub Bailey Hutton to shoot home to leave the score 2-1. Oak were now worried as they had been expected to win this match easy in their battle for top spot and but for some good defending and bad luck the Olympic could have leveled the scores. However the strength and good play of Oak eventually resulted in a third goal for them leaving the final score 3-1.

A good battling performance from the Olympic squad showing glimpses of good football

and a great attitude to the game.

Man of the Match: Fletcher White

Under-10s

The Academy U10s hit Dungiven for ten with an encouraging display which shook off the cobwebs after the winter break.

Were it not for some excellent saves from the Dungiven goalkeeper, the halftime score of 5-0 could have been so much more. Coach Wallace used the opportunity to allow the boys to shift into different positions in the team - essential for young players’ development - and each player stepped up to the

mark with a first class attitude.

Only goalkeeper Owen Mackenzie and Aaron Downes failed to find the opposition net with the goals coming from Patrick Kelly (3), Lewis Dallas, Mark Lowry, Ryan Canning, Jake Wallace, Ben Dallas and two own goals.

Man of the Match: Patrick Kelly

Under-11s

Right from the whistle Coleraine started to play great passing football at a very high tempo not letting Northend settle on the ball. Coleraine scored with some slick passing from defence through the midfield and then to the forwards for O’Neill to put Coleraine in the lead. Coleraine continued to impress the coaches and parent with their attractive play and were unfortunate not to score again but for some good Northend defending and goalkeeping.

A lack of concentration let Northend score a goal to make it 1 – 1. This slip up inspired the squad to attack at will with O’Neill and C. Stewart combining well up front causing Northend defence massive problems. Once again Captain McDonald was superb in midfield pulling all the strings and scored a messi-esque type goal. The team continued to dictate the pace of the game and appeared to score when they wanted. To their credit Northend never gave up and played their part in the match which finished in Coleraine’s favour.

An excellent return to league matches, the coaches and spectators are very impressed with the effort and commitment shown by the whole squad, your efforts in training are really starting to show on the pitch.

Man of the Match: Scott McDonald.

The Under-11 Olympic side took on Maiden City.

Coleraine went ahead after ten minuets when a free kick by Jude Twigg was palmed out to James Watters on the left. The resulting shot spun off a Maiden City defender and Robbie Moon took the opportunity to place the ball into the bottom corner of the net. Credit goes to a Maiden City side that never gave up and were only kept at bay through excellent defending by the captain Stuart Wallace and Richard Lockhart.

In the second half determined play by midfielders Jude Twigg and James Symington initiated a number of Coleraine attacks but it was midway through the second half when Coleraine scored their second goal. Again it was the result of a free kick. This was taken by Richard Lockhart who flighted the ball into the Maiden City goal where James Symington fastened on to it calmly putting the ball beyond the reach of the visiting keeper.

In the closing stages of the game Maiden City forwards were frustrated by a number of excellent saves by Brennan Hulbert in the Coleraine goal and in the last minutes it took a well timed sliding tackle by left back Scott Wilson to deny Maiden City what looked like a certain goal.

This was the first league game since the Christmas break and all the Olympic players, including new signing Jack Kane can be pleased with this performance.

Man of the Match: Richard Lockhart.