Training /Quiz

Filed under: General news, Over 35 team, Saturday LSL team, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Training continues on Marlay Astro at 9 on Tuesdays and 8 on Thursdays.

Players are asked to be warmed up and ready to go on in time to avail of the full hour’s training.

There has been some confusion about times with Dave O Kelly arriving late on Thursday while Mick Leslie, Kevin Loftus, Dave Kernan and Neil McGowan have all been seen very early on Tuesdays!

No Training on Thursday 13th November. That’s set aside for Quiz night, some much needed fund raising, and possibly a few fizzy lemonades. Keith Kelly should beware of taxi doors in the aftermath.

ps – times are the same after the clocks go back!

Spartak Ease into Round Two

Filed under: General news, Saturday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Leinster Junior Shield
Clondalkin FC 2, Spartak 7

A clinical opening twenty minutes laid the ground work for this victory in a wind blown Collinstown Park.

Twice within the opening 15 minutes a combination of Chris Hogan and Jeff Gamble on the right saw Jeff produce inviting crosses which were gobbled up by Ciaran Keane for the first two goals and on 19 minutes a fine move starting with keeper Bobby Hayes and added to by Mick Greene, Conor Keegan and Niall Lennon saw Shane McInerney send Mick Leslie through on goal. Mick’s effort struct the base of the post but Ciaran Keane was on hand to complete his hattrick. 3-0.

The Sky Blues the relaxed somewhat and the home side mustered a few attacks; Chris Hogan’s back pass was short but the eventual shot was wide and the home side’s efforts paid off when a long range free caused panic leading to an easy tap in.

Some jittery defendng by Spartak saw the home side have a few efforts after the break. but a Ciaran Keane solo goal on the hour added to the Sky Blues’ tally before Shane McInerney, returning after a three game absence, punished the Clondalkin keeper’s poor fly kick by firing the ball straight home from 27.5* yards. A colllector’s item for sure.

A neat set up by Devereux Kesler saw Mick Greene send Jeff Gamble in for number six and then a second collector’s item finished the scoring – Niall Lennon heading in from Conor Keegan’s flag kick.

*(Distance verified by an astonished Mick Greene)

Form Report
Bobby Hayes 5 Chris Hogan 7 Mick Greene 7 Conor Keegan 8 Niall Hanratty 6 Ciaran Keane 8 Conor Canavan 7 Jeff Gamble 7 Niall Lennon 7 Shane McInerney 7 Mick Leslie 7
Subs : Conor Callis 6 Devereux Kesler 6 Barry Maguire 6 Dave O Kelly

Clear Victory

Filed under: General news, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Confey 0, Spartak 5

A trio of goals leading up to the break put this game beyond Confey’s reach.

With Spartak leading through a Martin Costello goal (he forced in Aodhan McCahill’s header from Steve Walsh’s free) the Sky Blues added quick fire scores from Martin Costello, Stuart Love and Steve Walsh.

In truth it was a lack lustre performance with the Spartak midfield lacking in drive and energy. Seamus McCahill nodded in Martin Costello’s cross for the only score of the second half, but contributed little to overall play, while brother Aodhan had a mystifying dip in form. Stuart Love carried an injury into the game, and could not see out the contest ( not very Raheem of him) while Neil McGowan departed the fray after just 15 minutes with an ankle injury.

Only Martin Costello displayed the required energy and desire while only occasional flashes were seen of Dave Kernan. Steve Walsh was subdued after a knock taken while scoring the fourth goal.

The home side started devoid of confidence but rallied in the second period to hit the bar and cause some discomfort to the Spartak defence.

Not one of Spartak’s best outings.

From Report
Kevin Loftus 6 David Kernan 6 Dave Browne 5 Steve Grier 6 Paul Kinsella 6 Stuart Love 5 Neil Mc Gowan 6 Aodhan McCahill 5 Seamus McCahill 5 Martin Costello 7 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Ken Buckley 6 Mick Leslie 6 Karl McCullough 6 Jason Northey

Late Goals Add Gloss

Filed under: General news, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Spartak 7 Carriglea 2

The scoreline does not reflect the true picture and is harsh on the visitors, who went a goal up as Spartak began the game poorly, lacking energy and displaying slow reactions.

It was close to the half hour beore Spartak mustered an equaliser, Dave Kernan drillling home after being set up by Stuart Love.

A Mick Leslie / Neil Mc Gowan move gave Steve Walsh the chance to give Spartak the lead and he made no mistake just before the break.

Steve Grier had a goal chalked off due to Niall Hanratty’s offside before a McGowan/Hanratty/Kernan move alowed Martin Costello to increase the lead and Stuart Love headed in soon after for number 4.

Carriglea recovered and reduced arrears before a late trio of goals added a flattering look to the scoreline; Steve Grier headed in from a corner, Kernan, McGowan and Costello set up Walsh for number six, and McGowan headed in after Costello flicked on Walsh’s corner deep into injury time.

A performance lacking in quality – despite the goal tally.

Form Report:
Kevin Loftus 6 David Kernan 9 Mick Leslie 6 Paul Kinsella 6 Dave Browne 6 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Ken Buckley 6 Seamus McCahill 5 Martin Costello 7 Steve Walsh 7
Subs: Niall Hanratty 6 Steve Grier 6 Jason Northey

Late Late Equaliser Conceded

Filed under: General news, Saturday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Balbriggan 1 Spartak 1

Spartak were denied all three points by a late, late Balbriggan equaliser in the 4th minute of injury time. In truth it was a solid performance by a Spartak side that’s starting to gel after a rocky stat to the season, and the Sky Blues had enough clear chances to have put the game beyond the home sides reach.

The first half was an even affair with both sides having opportunities. The clearest for Spartak came after a Ciaran Keane/Mick Leslie move gave Jeff a chance from 8 yards but his effort was too high. Mick Leslie then had a tentative effort easily saved. Niall Hanratty and Aodhan McCahill were solid throughout in central defence and it was unfortunate that a late slip by Aodhan let the home side in.

The second half was much more in Spartak’s favour, although Mick Greene’s attempt at goal from the kick off fell somewhat short. On 49 minutes came the breakthough goal. Conor Keegan won possession and found Ciaran Keane on the left about 35 yards out. He appeared to mishit his cross, which the goalkeeper misjudged, and the ball popped off the crossbar onto the waiting head of the grateful Jeff Gamble, who nodded in from close range.

A number of Spartak moves were foiled by Jeff Gamble wandering offside, but Spartak created a number of chance, two of which were of the clear cut variety. The first was when Niall Hanratty’s free was nodded down by Aodhan McCahill to to Ciaran Keane at the back post, about four yards out. It should have been a tap in but Ciaran opted instead for an almighty thump to send the football into orbit. The second great opportunity saw Jeff Gamble square the ball across the six yard box for Mick Leslie, who gently flicked the ball wide from close in. Two close chances and neither hit the target.

The Spartak midfield were dominant for most of the half with Niall Lennon continuing his recent run of good form. Fidel Benson had a quieter game and Conor Keegan hustled the home midfield to good effect.

A satisfactory performance but tinged with the disappointment of that late goal.

Form Report:
Bobby Hayes 7 Chris Hogan 6 Mick Greene 6 Niall Hanratty 8 Aodhan McCahill 8 Ciaran Keane 6 Conor Keegan 7 Jeff Gamble 7 Niall Lennon 8 Fidel Benson 6 Mick Leslie 7
Subs: Mick Young 6 Conor Callis 6 Kevin O Sullivan, Rafal Sarwinski, Shane McInerney.

First Half Good, Second Half Not So Good

Filed under: General news, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Spartak 5 Seaford 2

As Sven Goran Erikkson was fond of saying – first half good , second half not so good.

With Jason Northey injured, Adam Doran played in goal. Paul Kinsella started despite carrying a knock, while Neil McGowan, also injured, took a spot on the bench

Dave Browne made his first start of the season having returned from his many travels, missing the last three games. Steve Grier was on his own sojourn around South Dublin looking for his kit and missed the kick off, eventually making an undistinguished second half appearance. Boots, shin pads, socks. Its a heavy burden. He could be in line for the Rob Deering perpetual trophy!

Spartak began brightly, and after just five minutes a Steve Walsh cross found an unmarked Martin Costello, who firmly headed home.

Seaford regrouped and the number 7 took full advantage on the Spartak left, where Dave Browne seemed to be still on his travels. Better finishing would have seen an equaliser but Spartak broke on 24 minutes with Niall Hanratty and Dave Kernan combining to put Steve Walsh through and he added to the lead.

Paul Kinsella appeared to be fouled by the Seaford attacker who went on to shoot wide when through on goal, and Adam Doran took off a good save from that number 7 again. Once again Spartak broke well with Stuart Love giving Seamus McCahill a shooting chance. His shot, though weak, was fumbled and Dave Kernan regained possession to fire in number 3.

With Seaford pushing forward just on half time they were caught out by a drilled Dave Browne pass which sent Steve Walsh away to coolly round the keeper and slot number 4.

On 50 minutes Seaford reduced arrears and a couple of good Adam Doran saves prevented them from further closing the gap as Spartak were unable to maintain their earlier tempo.

Spartak were disjointed in the second half and the midfield area was conceded to Seaford . Seamus McCahill went on his own particularly quest in the second period, forgetting about team work and positional sense and concentrating on trying to get his name on the score sheet. Alas, he failed. He was not alone in playing a solo second half role and several players were guilty of over carrying and over elaboration, in stark contrast to the slicker first half attacking moves.

There were some nervous and indeed embarrassed moments among the Sky Blues when Seaford scored again with 12 minutes left but a fine individual effort by Steve Walsh, completing his hat trick, made it 5-2 after the same player had been refused a blatant penalty when toppled in the box.

Spartak can be happy with the three points but not the performance. The second half took a lot of gloss off after building a 4-0 half time lead.

Form Report
Adam Doran 7 Dave Kernan 6 Dave Browne 6 Paul Kinsella 6 Karl McCullough 6 Stuart Love 6 Niall Hanratty 6 Ken Buckley 6 Seamus McCahill 6 Martin Costello 6 Steve Walsh 8
Subs: Steve Grier 5 Mick Leslie 6 Kevin Loftus 5

Knocked for Seven

Filed under: General news, Saturday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Knockmitten Utd 2, Spartak 7

Spartak made light of a number of absentees to score a resounding win. Bobby Hayes, Keith Kelly and Conor Keegan were all marked absent, while the injured Shane McInerney had to be content with a touchline role. The redoubtable Tony Kavanagh rolled back the years to make an appearance as the over 35s were idle. Mick Young was also unavailable for selection – confusing reality with the virtual life he stayed at home to watch television and admire Phil Jagielka’s fine strike.

The opening exchanges did not augur well; Chris Hogan wasted no time in delivering a couple of foul throws, and on 15 minutes Mick Costello raced from his goal to the left hand side to make a timely clearance. Alas his fellow defenders were sound asleep and the ball was returned quickly to the Spartak net before Mick could recover his ground.

A fine move involving Niall Hanratty and Niall Lennon saw Jeff Gamble deliver an inviting cross which was headed home by Adam Doran for the equaliser. Jeff had earlier missed a close range header from Fidel Benson’s cross but Spartak took the lead when Mick Leslie battled for the ball at the edge of the box, and the ball dropped for Jeff Gamble to fire home. Just on half time Adam Doran stretched Spartak’s lead with a great effort from the half way line, reminiscent of David Beckham’s goal many years ago.

The Spartak midfield trio of Niall Lennon, Adam Doran and Fidel Benson took complete charge in the second period. Spartak were now rampant and Jeff Gamble scored following a good pass by Niall Hanratty.

Ciaran Keane, who up to this point had not done himself justice, then scored from close range from a move started by Mick Costello and carried on by Hanratty and Gamble; and then Ciaran fired in a fine cross converted by Gamble for number 6.

Jeff Gamble got his fourth goal courtesy of a surging run and cross by Fidel Benson and Niall Hanratty fired over from close range while Dave O’Kelly struck the post as Spartak attacked at will.

Knockmitten scored a consolation from the spot after a defensive mix up to bookend the scoring.

Biggest win in a while and man of the match must go to Jeff Gamble for finding his finishing touch so well, but Niall Lennon ran him close with an assured midfield display, aided by Adam Doran and Fidel Benson.

Form Report
Mick Costello 7 Conor Canavan 6 Chris Hogan 6 Niall Hanratty 7 Dave O’Kelly 7 Ciaran Keane 6 Adam Doran 8 Jeff Gamble 8 Niall Lennon 8 Fidel Benson 7 Mick Leslie 7
Subs: Tony Kavanagh 6 Rafal Sarwinski 6

So Disappointing

Filed under: General news, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Hartstown Huntstown 3 , Spartak 2

With a squad depleted by injuries and absentees it was not the ideal day for players selected at numbers 8,9, and 10 not to put in an appearance. Bad Form, Messrs Hanratty, Malone and Doran. With Paul Kinsella and Neil McGowan out injured, and Martin Costello, Seamus McCahill, Fergus Burke and Dave Browne otherwise engaged, the missing trio made it nine players out and placed an unbearable final strain on resources.

Evans Sarpong, who responded at short notice and Jason Northey, renewing his outfield career, started on the wings, with Mick Greene and Shea McClafferty, also responding to calls, arriving as substitutes.

So not the perfect preparation to meet the unbeaten league leaders on their own turf.

Far from being cowed or overrun, the Spartak outfit put in a compelling performance, with stellar contributions from several players,aided by a hard working supporting cast, and were unfortunate not to gain at least a share of the spoils.

Stuart Love, playing centrally, had one of his finest performances, tirelessly closing men down and finding time to set up attacks.

Spartak had seen a Steve Grier throw deflected on to the bar before the home side found their feet and a lack of cover saw Hartstown take the lead on the counter before a towering header from Steve Grier, who powered in a Steve Walsh free, equalised for the Sky Blues, following a foul on Dave Kernan.

The second goal for Hartstown stemmed form a free kick harshly awarded against Evans Sarpong (it was a dive) and Kevin Loftus was clearly nudged as the ensuing cross floated into the far corner.

Close things then for both sides as Hartstown had a goal ruled out and a flick on by Jason Northey rolled harmlessly across an unguarded Hartstown goal. A fine pass by Evans Sarpong sent Steve Walsh through only to be foiled by a combination of defender and keeper.

The second half saw some fine football by both sides in an open contest.

A typically persistent Stuart Love sent Steve Walsh in for a shot but he pulled it wide. Then Ken Buckley and Steve Walsh combined but the cross was just ahead of Mick Leslie, arriving at the far post.

A foul by Dave Kernan led to a third for the home side, with Kevin Loftus getting no marks for defensive wall construction following the ensuing free kick.

Dave Kernan, although handicapped by having goals nicked from him by Neil McGowan, scored for the third game in a row to be joint top scorer; not bad for a right back. On this occasion he coolly beat the keeper from close range after Mick Leslie had headed the ball down to him.

Mick Greene’s first time pass gave Steve Walsh the opportunity to set up Steve Grier, but he shot first time and wide from the edge of the box , when a touch might have made sure.

A fantastic piece of skill by Steve Walsh gave Mick Leslie a chance from a narrow angle on the right, but the keeper blocked at the expense of a corner.

As the Sky Blues went all out for an equaliser, some gaps at the back were inevitable , abut after the local forward knocked the ball past Kevin Loftus, David Kernan, racing back towards goal, made a near miraculous clearance on the line, somehow lifting the ball up and on to the top of the bar and over.

A final flurry by Spartak saw a Stu Love cross evade the attackers and then Karl McCullough had a fierce shot blocked before Steve Grier fired the rebound over.

Heartbreak for a brave showing by those who were there.

Form Report
Kevin Loftus 5 David Kernan 8 Aodhan McCahill 7 Steve Grier 8 Karl McCullough 7 Stuart Love 9 Mick Leslie 6 Jason Northey 6 Ken Buckley 6 Evans Sarpong 6 Steve Walsh 8
Subs: Mick Greene 6 Shea McClafferty 6
No Shows – Niall Hanratty , Adam Doran, Lee Malone

Defeat in First Home Saturday game.

Filed under: General news, Saturday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Spartak 2, Cherryfield 4

Spartak’s opening home game did not produce any better result than the previous two away games as the team, missing players from last season, is only starting to come together as a unit.

In a fine move, Fidel Benson, Jeff Gamble and Ciaran Keane combined well and the latter’s cross was headed down to Shane McInerney but he could only make a weak connection.

The Sky Blues began promisingly enough, but approach play was spoiled by the poor quality of crosses, mostly lobbed in and easy meat for the visiting keeper, with Chris Hogan, Niall Lennon and Dave O’Kelly among the guilty men.

On 27 minutes Cherryfield went ahead from a free header from a corner, awarded instead of a free out for a clear foul on Chris Hogan.

Bobby Hayes took off a fine save just on the break, tipping the ball around the post; he was even more disappointed than the opposition that the ref awarded a goal kick!

The second half saw the game become quite open, with both sets of defences looking porous. Spartak equalised when a Conor Keegan free was knocked back by Niall Lennon to give Dave O Kelly the simplest task from a yard out, but Cherryfield restored their lead five minutes later from a break out. Jeff Gamble responded with a fierce shot, but unfortunately too close to the keeper, who parried.

Jeff Gamble sent Kevin O’Connell in to equalise from a narrow angle with 18 minutes remaining but almost immediately Cherryfield scored from a clearly offside position.

The remaining minutes were frantic; Bobby Hayes saved well after a poor back pass by Dave O’Kelly; Cherryfield added a fourth and Jeff Gamble was fouled in the area but no penalty awarded.

The team remains a work in progress as new players bed in and fitness improves.

Form Report
Bobby Hayes 6 Barry Maguire 5 Chris Hogan 6 Conor Keegan 7 Kevin O Connell 7 Shane McInerney 5 Niall Lennon 5 Fidel Benson 5 Dave O’Kelly 5 Jeff Gamble 6 Ciaran Keane 5.
Subs: Mick Greene 5 Mick Young 5 Evans Sarpong 5

Sky Blues win a Frustrating game.

Filed under: General news, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Spartak 4, Woods Utd 1.

Spartak were slightly flattered by the scoreline as the visitors dominated the final twenty minutes before Steve Walsh applied the coup de grace deep into injury time.

Spartak started well but attacks were halted by possibly over enthusiastic Martin Costello interventions, conceding frees or getting caught offside. Either way MArtin did not see eye to eye with the ref on these calls. A nice move between Neil McGowan and Steve Walsh then saw Martin Costello race down the right, but his cross was poor, mainly due to the kick on the calf he received en route.

The opening score came on 23 minutes when a neat Aodhan McCahill /Neil McGowan combination sent Steve Walsh into the penalty area on the left; a couple of jinks left opposition players flat footed and the precise cross which evaded the defenders left Martin Costello a simple task from 6 yards.

The number of decent attacking moves by Spartak which were halted by a whistle for offside made for a build up of frustration and it seemed at one point that the referee had reverted to the pre 1927 offside rule which required 3 players between the attacker and the goal line. Steve Walsh was blown offside on the edge of the area while a visiting defender stood at the edge of the six yard box.

A Steve Grier throw flicked on by Seamus McCahill was met at the back post by Neil McGowan whose header back across goal beat the keeper and struck the angle of post and bar; but no Sky Blue player was following up for what would have been an easy tap in.

So Spartak reached the interval just a goal up, despite some energetic efforts.

On 59 minutes a Walsh corner dropped favorably to Neil McGowan who made no mistake from close range. Paul Kinsella and Ken Buckley then were foolishly booked complaining about a blatant foul on Steve Walsh which did not result in a free.

Spartak were now quite flat and relying on breakaways; but these were regularly halted by offside calls, and as they dropped deeper the visitors reduced arrears on 69 minutes.

The Sky Blues response was quick and the third goal on 72 minutes saw a long Steve Grier pass send Steve Walsh away down the left and he showed great composure in his run and finish.

Woods continued to boss the midfield and Martin Costello cleared off the line, Bobby scrambled away another effort and a miskick by Aodhan McCahill presented an easy chance missed by the visitors. The Sky Blues were shipping some physical punishment with Steve Grier on the end of one tackle which went completely unpunished.

Bookings mounted for Spartak, with Neil McGowan and Seamus McCahill carded for fouls, the latter not helped by Paul Kinsella’s blood curdling exhortations.

A 99th minute goal by Steve Walsh, who ignored a half hearted offside appeal, raced away and calmly rounded the keeper to score after Stuart Love had won the ball and sent him through wrapped things up for Spartak.

Form Report
Bobby Hayes 6 David Kernan 7 Aodhan McCahill 7 Steve Grier 7 Paul Kinsella 7 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Ken Buckley 5 Seamus McCahill 5 Martin Costello 6 Steve Walsh 8.
Sub: Mick Leslie 5