Crusaders were the visitors at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena last Saturday for this National League game which brought together fourth against bottom.
Cookstown started with Ben Young in goals, a back four of Cameron McMullan, Stefan O’Hare, Ryan Rocks and Jamie McCrum, in Midfield Jack Dingley, Ryan Dobson, Adam Keane and Caleb Buchannon while up front was Luke McCrea and Stevie Arrell.
The last time these two teams met Crusaders came out 4-2 winners having grabbed two goals in the last five minutes, so the CYFC boys knew that this was going to be a tough match.
Cameron McMullan was the pick of the bunch in the first half, after running his heart out along with great performances from Stefan O’Hare and Ryan Rocks.
All the Cookstown players gave a good account of themselves and at the half-time whistle the Crues were 1-0 up through a scrappy goal which really should have been cleared.
The second half saw a few changes for Cookstown with Cameron Thom, Ciaran Monaghan, Kyle Devlin, James McKee and Matthew Kelly all joining the fray and Crusaders were finding it extremely tough to break them down.
The Cookstown midfielders saw a lot of the ball, but that final ball to the forwards still seemed to elude them.
Thankfully Young, O’Hare and McCrum in defence continued their great run of form and although the Home team didn’t have many chances to score, they certainly made up for it in all other positions on the pitch.
Crusaders scored another soft goal which should have been dealt with and the game finished 2-0 to the Belfast visitors.
Coaches Stevie O’Hare and Andy Kelly praised their players on a fantastic performance and effort and the Crusaders management team commented that it was amazing that the Cookstown lads were bottom of the League as they were by no means the worst team.
This was a great game and a fantastic advert for Youth Football - well done to both teams.
Man of The Match: Stefan O’Hare.
Bloomfield v Cookstown U12 (NIBFA Cup 11am Orangefield)
Cookstown U13 v Sky Blues
(NIBFA League 11am)
Northend United v Cookstown U14 (NIBFA League)
Cookstown U15 v Linfield
(NIBFA Cup 11am)
Cookstown U16 v Glendowan (NIBFA League 11am MUSA)
St Marys v Cookstown U18
(Mid-Ulster League 10am St Marys)