Cookstown Youth FC  v Sofia Farmer FC – Match Report
24th July 2015 3901 Views

Cookstown Youth FC v Sofia Farmer FC – Match Report

CYFC played their first senior friendly match on Saturday against Sofia Farmer who are trying to gain admission to the Ballymena Intermediate league if they can secure a pitch to play on that meets the required standard, and after a game of 2 half’s the match ended even at 3-3.

Cookstown manager Niall Hunter picked a squad of 19 players, mostly in their teens and early 20s and a handful of more experienced players, The new look back line had the vastly experienced John Scott and Steven McElhatton with U18s players Adam Bell, Josh Adams and then Chris Reylonds in nets, The Midfield was Anchored by the experienced George Dardis who had a youthful Johnny McKenna alongside him and Simon Young and Lee Mitchell played on either wings, Aiden Doyle and Drew Kelly led the line up front.

Cookstown started off well with McKenna looking good from the start with his quick passing and movement, The hard working home team did not give their opponents any time to settle and Doyle and Kelly almost capitalized on a poor pass out from the back but the defender got back to block Kelly’s shot. The away team were finding it hard to break down a home defence that was well marshalled by McElhatton and Dardis in the midfield. Cookstown took the lead on 13 minutes after a good move on the right side with Young finding Doyle who crossed into the box from Kelly to flick the ball onto the back post were Lee Mitchell was on hand to score the 1st Goal for CYFC. Young and then Mitchell both had free kicks from the edge of the box that came close to extending the lead but the keeper did well to keep them out. McKenna and Young then came close with efforts just inside the box. The Local lads extended their lead on 22 minutes when McKenna picked out a poor pass from a defender and his pass found Aiden Doyle how scored from 10 yards out. Sofia tried to press after this and the midfielder had a get shot from 35 yards out that hit the post, and a few minutes later Adam Bell made a good tackle to keep the away team at bay. Cookstown made it 3-0 on 35 minutes when Doyle picked the ball up 20 Yards out and his thunderous shot found the back of the net for his 2nd of the match. Sofia once more pushed hard for their break through but the hard working home team kept them out leaving the half time score 3-0

Cookstown rung the changes at half time with Hodgett replacing Ryendols in nets, Kelso and McMath replaced Bell and McElhatton in defence, McMullan, Tavares and Neal Young replaced Mitchell, McKenna and Simon Young in Midfield and Stewart came on for Doyle. U17 player Ryan Rocks was also introduced on 65 minutes for John Scott.

Cookstown had the 1st chances of the 2nd half with Kelly and Stewart linking well but the through ball was to hard for Stewart to get on the end of. Sofia scored in the 53rd minute after the home team failed to clear the danger. This looked to give the away team a much needed lift and Dean Hodgett pulled of 3 fine saves. The second half was a much scrapper game with alot more free kick and this did not suit the fast flowing game the home team was trying to play. on 70 minutes Stewart made a good run on the right and his cross picked out Kelly inside the 6 yard box but his shot was inches wide of the far post. Sofia pulled another goal back on 75 minutes with a shot for the edge of the box that went through a crowded box and somehow found the bottom corner. Hodgett was called into action again, but on 85 minutes Sofia drew level with a cracking shot from 20 yards out to leave the final score 3-3.


C Reynolds, D Hodgett, J Scott, R Rocks, G Kelso, A Bell, S McElhatton, S McMath, J Adams, G Dardis, J McKenna, Neal Young, Simon Young, L Mitchell, D Kelly, A Doyle, K McMullan, P Stewart, W Tavares

Manager Niall Hunter said after the match. That was a really good run out for us today and the pace of the game was good and the hard working mentality was there to see and that was what I was looking from our lads, for a team that has never played together before a lot of the play was very good. I had a very youthful team with a few older players and that is the sort of mix I need this year. I still have a few more players to add to the squad and we might get a few more players that are still thinking of coming so as a whole we are building a good squad of players that want to learn and work hard to move our Club forward.

Next match is Junior 1 side Woodlands FC 2pm Kick off at MUSA next Saturday 25th


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