Sky Blues advance in Polikoff after shoot out

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

15.1.17
Transport 2, Spartak 2 (Spartak win 5-3 on pens)

Spartak advanced in an incident packed game at Rutland Avenue, in a tough encounter, which would have needed a firmer referee. Greg Byrne dislocated his shoulder, while Steve Walsh suffered a bloody nose. Geoff Gamble also came in for some rough treatment. A further factor, which both teams complained to the ref about, was that the match footballs were over inflated which meant the ball was like a concrete block!

The Sky Blues opened at a decent pace, but squandered several good opportunities early on. Geoff Gamble shot straight at the keeper, Ger Byrne missed a couple of chances, Steve Walsh stopped allowing the goalkeeper recover after missing the ball. Failure to put away these early chances might have been costly.

Transport had a couple of chances themselves as the half progressed.

The pitch, which started out in good shape, gradually deteriorated and the second half was more of a slog. Greg Byrne made a double save, before, on 58 minutes, Ger Byrne’s run set up Steve Walsh to fire home from the edge of the box.

However Spartak suffered a triple blow as Transport’s effort was deemed to have crossed the line; worse, Greg Byrne was injured in the melee and Steve Walsh was off the pitch receiving treatment, and unable to return. All three substitutes would play a key role before the end.

The opening minutes of extra time saw Transport miss a great chance by blazing over, while at the other end Ger Byrne rounded the keeper, was fouled, but no whistle.

A few minutes into the second period Transport took the lead. Hesitation in the Spartak rearguard allowed the forward to turn and shoot low to the corner.

Geoff Gamble then rolled one past the keeper, and the ball was cleared from behind the line, but the ref waved play on. As Spartak threw everything into frenzied attack, it was Dave Kernan who pounced on a half clearance to fire in with the last kick of the match. The ref did not even bother to allow a restart.

Spartak were clinical in their penalties, with Neil McGowan, Geoff Gamble, Dave Browne, Cormac O’Connor all scoring before stand in keeper Mick Greene saved Transport’s fifth kick, and that man Dave Kernan completed he rescue act with his spot kick.

A poor attitude to start with almost cost the game, but Spartak battled against the odds in the end.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Dave Kernan 8 Cian Donohoe 7 Niall Lennon 6 Karl McCullagh 7 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 6 Geoff Gamble 6 Owen Marron 6 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Dave Brown 6 Mick Greene 7 Cormac O’Connor 6

Spirited Fightback Too Late

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

6.1.16

Balbriggan 4, Spartak 2

An unusual time for the first post Christmas fixture saw Spartak play on the Balbriggan astro with a Friday night kick off.

Spartak clearly showed signs of rustiness and found themselves 3-0 down at half time. Hesitancy by Cian Donohoe saw him caught in possession to concede the free kick, which was scored – Dan Galvin touching the ball onto the woodwork only to have it rebound against the keeper and in. Steve Grier’s missed tackle allowed a cross for the second, which Dave Kernan unwittingly turned into his own net.

Two own goals, and a third from play ( with a suspicion of offside) quickly followed before Spartak regained some form of equilibrium.

Geoff Gamble had a couple of half chances, before Steve Grier blazed over after the home keeper fumbled a ball from a corner kick.

Spartak began the second period in much brighter fashion, containing the home team and creating a good number of chances. From Steve Walsh’s corner, Steve Grier’s header was deflected in by a defender; game on, Steve Grier then fired a free kick just over and a longer range effort by Neil McGowan skimmed the crossbar.

Steve Grier then had a shot palmed out by the keeper, but Geoff Gamble (given offside) struck the bar with the goal open. Spartak pummeled the home defence which held out in the face of relentless pressure.

With ten to go, Dan Galvin allowed a pass to slip under his foot to permit the local striker an easy tap in. Neil McGowan’s late goal was a consolation only.

Form Report
Dan Galvin 7 Dave Kernan 8 Cian Donohoe 5 Steve Grier 7 Darragh Logue 7 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Geoff Gamble 5 Owen Marron 7 Ger Byrne 5 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Karl McCullagh 7 Niall Lennon 6 Dave Haczynskyj 6 Sean Molloy 6

Welcome Win

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

10/12/16
Corduff 3, Spartak 6

A very heavy and bumpy pitch did not make for the greatest spectacle, but both sides attempted to play a passing game; errors aplenty at the back on both sides resulted in a pre Christmas goal fest.

Sean Molloy opened the scoring with a neat effort after his pressing saw Spartak gain possession; Gary Bridges provided the pass and Sean did the rest. Chris Hogan was having a ropy start, uncertain in positioning, and while rescued initially by Greg Byrne’s save, his offside appeal fell on deaf ears as he allowed a forward a free run in to equalise.

Spartak now became sloppy after conceding and Liam Caffrey made a good saving tackle when Gary Bridges was caught in possession, while the home side also fired a decent chance wide. The Sky Blues took a half time lead when an alert Mick Leslie charged down the keeper’s kick. The ball ran to Sean Molloy on the edge of the box, and he coolly took a touch before firing home.

A rip roaring start to the second period saw Spartak race into a 4-1 lead. Owen Marron won a corner, and Mick Leslie’s flag kick was turned in by Darren Ritchie. A minute later, good work by Mick Leslie gave Owen Marron a chance, which he fired in from outside the box.

Corduff did not lie down, and soon reduced arrears, but Sean Molloy’s flick on put Mick Leslie in. 5-2.
Again the home side came back, but Darren Ritchie clinched the deal after approach work by Owen Marron and sub Dave Kernan.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 5 Cian Stenson 6 Liam Caffrey 6 Darragh Logue 6 Gary Bridges 6 Owen Marron 7 Sean Molloy 8 Leo Bradley 5 Darren Ritchie 7 Mick Leslie 8
Subs: Conor Callis 6 Dave Kernan 6

Sky Blues continue good run

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

4.12.16
Palmerstown 1, Spartak 5

A blistering opening by the Sky Blues laid the foundation for this victory. Two goals, well taken by Ger Byrne, in the first 15 minutes followed sweeping moves. Dave Kernan and Geoff Gamble did the spadework for the first, while Neil McGowan, Steve Grier, Stuart Love and Geoff Gamble all combined to allow Ger to finish sweetly for number two. Ger then began to receive some unwanted attention, which eventually led to his early departure, which the referee ignored.

Errors by Steve Grier and Aodhan McCahill gave the home side a chance, but Jason Northey saved the on-on-one. On the half hour Steve Grier nodded in Neil McGowan’s corner to make it 3-0, but a goalkeeping error allowed Palmerstown to reduce arrears.

Geoff Gamble headed home Mick Leslie’s corner and then scored from the spot after he was taken down following Cian Donohoe’s through ball.

A fine attacking display.

Form Report
Jason Northey 5 Dave Kernan 7 Cian Donohoe 6 Steve Grier 7 Aodhan McCahill 7 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Kevin O’Toole 6 Geoff Gamble 8 Ger Byrne 8 Mick Leslie 7
Subs: Cormac O’Connor 6 Ken Buckley 6 Karl McCullagh 6

Spartak go down in Junior Shield

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

3.12.16
Spartak 1, East Wall Rovers 2

East Wall edged this that contest in Marlay, although Spartak will be left rueing a number of opportunities missed.
A free kick by Leo Bradley was deflected by a defender against the bar, only to drop to Geoff Abraham – but his tame effort did not trouble the keeper. Owen McCormack, straight through on goal, was called back for a dubious offside.

A defensive mix up gave East Wall the lead, which they doubled on the hour mark with a decent header.

The introduction of the three substitutes gave Spartak the impetus for a fightback, and Bulelani Dunjana turned in Ciaran Keane’s cross to half the deficit.

Sean Molloy had an effort saved, Geoff Abraham fired over, Leo Bradley headed wide at the back post, and Dave O’Kelly headed over from a corner.

Not quite enough to force extra time.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 8 Mick Greene 5 Cian Stenson 7 Gary Bridges 7 Dave O’Kelly 6 Shane McInerney 6 Geoff Abraham 5 Leo Bradley 5 Mick Leslie 7 Owen McCormack 6 Sean Molloy 6
Subs: Conor Brady 5 Ciaran Keane 6 Bulelani Dunjana 6

Seven Up

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

27.11.16
Spartak 7 Dalkey Utd 2

A comprehensive win by the Sky Blues over a youthful Dalkey side.

Spartak took a two goal half time lead, Geoff Gamble turning in Owen Marron’s deflected cross, while Stuart Love’s header made it two.

Geoff Gamble made it three from the spot early second half, before Dalkey converted a spot kick themselves. It was now end to end stuff, but Spartak capitalised first, Steve Walsh finishing a move between himself and Geoff Gamble. Ger Byrne got in on the act, before Dalkey again scored. Owen Marron fired hme with a long range effort before Geoff Gamble completed his hattrick near the end.

Form Report
Dan Galvin 7 Dave Kernan 7 Cian Donohoe 6 Dave Browne 7 Steve Grier 7 Stuart Love 7 Niall Lennon 6 Owen Marron 8 Geoff Gamble 8 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Neil McGowan 8 Darragh Logue 7 Cormac O’Connor 6

Penalty Save Vital

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

20.11.16
Transport 1, Spartak 5

Spartak treaded a precarious path in Rutland Avenue, in heavy conditions, before emerging as winners with a comfortable margin in the end.

Spartak huffed and puffed without result, and , almost inevitably, the home side took the lead following a misdirected defensive header. Emboldened by the lead Transport took the game to Spartak, having been initially content to defend. Niall Lennon bundled in a Steve Walsh free kick to equalise, and it was Walsh himself who finished two second half moves to give the Sky Blues some breathing space.

Then came the pivotal moment of the game, as Dave Kernan conceded a penalty. The spot kick was struck low and hard towards the corner, but Daniel Galvin got a strong hand to turn the ball around the post.

Transport continued to press, but the Sky Blues scored twice on the break, Dave Haczynskyj turning in Geoff Gamble’s cross, before Owen Marron did likewise from Gary Bridges’ cross.

Three points, but not a great performance.

Form Report
Dan Galvin 8 Dave Kernan 5 Cian Donohoe 5 Dave Browne 5 Steve Grier 6 Stuart Love 6 Niall Lennon 6 Geoff Gamble 6 Owen Marron 6 Ger Byrne 5 Steve Walsh 7
Subs: Dave HAczynskyj 6 Gary Bridges 6 Ken Buckley 6

Hard Earned Point for Depleted Sky Blues

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

13.11.16
Edenderry Town 1, Spartak 1

An injury time goal, well taken from a narrow angle by Geoff Gamble, earned a point on the Sky Blues trip deep into darkest Offaly. The goal resulted from a cohesive move by Stu Love, Owen Marron and Mick Leslie. Such moves were difficult on a very heavy pitch, which cut up badly as the game progressed. Clear chances were few and far between for both sides in a tight contest in poor conditions.

The locals took the lead on 12 minutes, after a bad defensive pass allowed the striker in for a shot. Peter O’Toole saved the first effort, but could nothing about the rebound. Scarce resources were further stretched as Neil McGowan limped off to be replaced by Gary Bridges, who worked hard in the middle of the park. Darragh Logue slotted in at the back, and gave an assured display.

Edenderry, boosted by the early lead, then beat a poorly set offside trap by a reorganised back four, but chipped wide.

Gradually Spartak found their feet and the best first half opportunity came when a Mick Leslie’s fine header found Stuart Love 8 yards out, but his shot was smothered at the expense of a corner. Mick “Hatchet” Leslie had earlier been booked for a studs up challenge, with Geoff Gamble following him into the book for retaliation after a foul which wasn’t given.

It seemed Spartak had equalised early in the second period when Gamble’s pass was deflected to Mick Leslie , who fed Stuart Love, but the “goal” was disallowed for offside, the second for Stu in a week. On this occasion the ref had more justification than the Valeview game where there were two defenders on the line.

Geoff Gamble’s free was just over, but even as the home side fell back they still carried a threat. Peter O’Toole made a fine save in a 1 on 1 situation to keep the Sky Blues’ hopes alive. Darragh Logue headed a free from Gary Bridges wide in the best opportunity to date, as Spartak sought a way through.

Frustration increased as Spartak were denied a clear corner. Barry Crowe was noted in the book for giving the ref his forthright opinion on the matter. Additionally the ditch running along one side of the pitch ensnared any football which went more than a few yards over the touchline, with the breaks providing welcome time wasted for Edenderry.

Finally, and not a moment too soon, the breakthrough came.

Form Report
Peter O’Toole 8 Dave Kernan 7 Darragh Logue 7 Neil McGowan 5 Dave Browne 7 Stuart Love 7 Sean Molloy 6 Geoff Gamble 7 Owen Marron 7 Mick Leslie 7 Caoltan Strain 7
Subs: Gary Bridges 7 Ken Buckley 6

Defences Take Day Off

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

12.11.16
Spartak 5 Earl Celtic 7

No, it wasn’t a rugby match despite the strange scoreline!

Its certainly one of the oddest matches seen in Marlay for many years. It looked as if each back 4 had never met their teammates previously, as every attack by both sides looked like producing a score.

Spartak, apart from scoring five goals, missed a number of chances; crosses by Mick Leslie were headed off target by Leo Bradley and Shane Cunningham; Conor Callis fired wide when clean through; Ciaran Keane fired wide from a good position.

Leo Bradley fired a decent hat trick, and Mick Leslie scored a neat goal. Gary Bridges’ long range effort was the pick of the bunch for the Sky Blues. Spartak found themselves 4-3 down at half time, and Earl made it five very early in the second period; Spartak struck back and scored twice to equalise; indeed at this point it seemed there could only be one winner, but a break by Earl saw a very soft goal conceded, even by the standards of the day, and Earl added one more as they surged past a bewildered Sky Blues defence.

It is probably better to draw a veil over the concession of so many scores; in Spartak’s case the defending was deplorable from front to back.

A bad day at the office.

Form Report
Bobby Hayes 6 Chris Hogan 5 Dave O’Kelly 4 Liam Caffey 4 Cian Stenson 4 Eric Barber 5 Shane Cunningham 5 Gary Bridges 6 Ciaran Keane 4 Leo Bradley 7 Mick Leslie 7
Subs: Conor Callis 5 Shane McInerney 5 Sean Molloy 5

Spartak Slump in Shankill

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

6.11.16
Valeview Shankill 4, Spartak 1

Despite taking an early lead, Spartak succumbed in the end, in controversial circumstances. Stuart Love had a goal disallowed, and Steve Walsh had a valid penalty claim, but was awarded a free outside the box.

Steve Walsh gave Spartak the lead from the spot after Neil McGowan was fouled. Owen Marron and Mick Young then had chances to increase the lead, the latter not realising he had time from close in. Dave Kernan, not on form, conceded a penalty to hand the home side parity.

The home side took control of the game with two early second half goals, the first a decent long range effort, the second following a poor Spartak throw in.

Spartak fought back, Steve Walsh firing a decent chance over when through, and the disallowed goal and penalty claim came to nothing, with a few decen efforts being blocked by home defenders.

A fourth for the home side wrapped up the points.

Form Report
Eric Barber 7 David Kernan 4 Aodhan McCahill 5 Dave Browne 5 Dave O’Kelly 5 Stuart Love 5 Neil McGowan 7 Mick Young 6 Owen Marron 5 Ger Byrne 5 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Cormac O’Connor 5 Neil Lennon 5