Sky Blues edge past Dogged Esker

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

Spartak 2, Esker Celtic 1

Victory for the Sky Blues was secured by virtue of a close range Stuart Love finish after Cian Stenson’s shot was parried, and a direct free kick scored by Neil McGowan after Daire Doyle’s run was halted,unlawfully, in the D outside the penalty area. Neil got the ball up and over the wall to leave the keeper helpless.

Stuart had earlier had a goal chalked off for offside; Spartak were the brighter, and took the lead, but then some sleepy marking allowed the Esker full back complete a good move to equalise.

Chris Hogan, deputising in goal for Craig Howard, had a fine game and made some good stops, notably late on as Esker pressed for a leveller. A brilliant fast break by Owen Marron and Cian Stenson saw them exchange passes before Owen laid on a chance for Cian to clinch the game. On this occasion Spartak’s top scorer lifted the ball over the bar.

A hard fought win.

Form Report
Chris Hogan 8 Owen Marron 8 Luke Stenson 8 Kevin Cunningham 8 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Jason Gahan 6 Daire Doyle 6 Dave Power 6 Cian Stenson 6 Martin Rolfs 6

Stalemate in Loughshinny

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

Loughshinny 2, Spartak 2

Spartak recorded a draw in a tough encounter with the home team, who were fired up for the game. Nonetheless Spartak created the better first half chances, with Jason Gahan, Neil McGowan and Dave Power all having good opportunities. Dave Power gave Spartak the half time lead with a cool finish when Kevin Cunningham’s cross wasn’t dealt with by the home defence. Dave Power was barged in the box, fell just outside, from where the ref awarded a free kick. Jason Gahan’s attempt was just wide.

Stuart Love was just wide after Cian Stenson’s shot was parried but the home side sprang back into the game with a softly awarded penalty, and took the lead with a close range finish shortly after. Spartak rallied and equalised following good work by Jason Gahan and Dave Power, sharply finished on the turn by Cian Stenson.

Chances to secure the three points were missed when Neil McGowan sprang the ofside trap to run clean through, but was foiled by the keeper. Cian Stenson then evaded the keeper, and his effort rolled across the open goal, struck the post and stayed out.

Form Report
Craig Howard 7 Kev Cunningham 7 Luke Stenson 7 Ian Harmon 7 Ronan Buckley 6 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 6 Jason Gahan 7 Steve Grier 6 Dave Power 7 Cian Stenson 7
Sub Niall Lennon 6

Spartak Power past Finglas

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

Spartak 6, Finglas Utd 3

A Dave Power hat trick helped Spartak clinch victory after the visitors had pulled back from 3-1 to level. Daire Doyle’s first goal for the club gave Spartak the lead when he turned in Jason Gahan’s free kick to give the Sky Blues a half time lead.

The game really opened up in the second half. Goals galore followed. Firstly Dave Power with a fine turn and finish, and then Cian Stenson added number three with a diving header from Owen Marron’s sumptuous cross. The Sky Blues then seemed to think it was game over. However, Spartak’s air of relaxation was punctured when the visitors reduced arrears with a speculative effort, and then equalised.

Spartak redoubled their efforts and Dave Power’s long range effort caught the keeper out, and Cian Stenson added number five with a cool finish. Owen Marron hit the post, and later had a an effort blocked, which fell to Dave Power to slot his third goal.

A good result in the end.

Form Report
Craig Howard 6 Owen Marron 8 Luke Stenson 7 Steve Grier 7 Ronan Buckley 7 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Jason Gahan 7 Daire Doyle 7 Dave Power 9 Cian Stenson 8
Kevin Cunningham 7 Niall Lennon 6

Sparkling Spartak hit Six

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

Knockmitten 1, Spartak 6

A rip roaring first half by the Sky Blues effectively finished this contest before half time, against a strangely out of sorts home team. Goals by Cian Stenson, Luke Hyland, Aidan Duignan and Jeff Gamble endured a 4-0 interval lead. Although the home side had a few opportunities, the Spartak duo of Ciaran Brady and Aidan Duignan in midfield were the driving forces in the first half dominance.

The passing was crisp and the work rate impressive in a first half which maintained a high tempo throughout.

Cian Stenson and Brandon Lynch added second half goals, as the home side got a consolation score.

Best performance of the season….so far.

Form Report

Craig Howard 8 Seamus Ballette 7 Conor O’Sullivan 7 Chris Hogan 7 Kevin Murphy 7 Aidan Duignan 8 Brandon Lynch 7 Jeff Gamble 8 Ciaran Brady 9 Luke Hyland 7 Cian Stenson 8.
Subs Colm Ryan 6 Finn Healy 6

Nervy Ending

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

Spartak 3, Portmarnock 2

Spartak dominated the first half in terms of chances created, and were good value for a one nil half time lead. Playing good football, the passing was good enough to create a number of chances. The Stensons combined to send Dave Power clear and he made no mistake. Cian Stenson had a a few opportunities, and was denied twice by the frame of the goal; Dave Power, Jason Gahan and Owen Marron also had decent efforts.

Steve Grier touched in for a corner and Cian Stenson finished a fine move by Jason Gahan and Owen Marron to add goals 2 and 3.

All seemed comfortable until firstly, a soft goal from a poorly defended corner, and then a fine shot by the visitors number 17 into the top corner made it 3-2. Portmarnock also had claims for a spot kick, while the referee disagreed and awarded a free outside the box.

Spartak were not to be denied, however, and advance to the next roubd of the Leinster Junior Shield.

Form Report
Howard 7 Marron 7 L Stenson 7 Harmon 7 Buckley 6 Love 6 McGowan 6 Gahan 7 Grier 6 Power 6 C Stenson 7
Murphy 6 Doyle 6 Leslie 6

Six of the Best

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

Spartak 6 Cherry Orchard 3

A hat trick by Cian Stenson, together with goals by Steve Grier, Neil McGowan and Jeff Gamble secured three points against a Cherry Orchard side that were reduced to 10 men in the first half.

Spartak played some fine football and yet the visitors fought back, reducing arrears and missing a penalty in the process which might have made for a closer finish.

Luke Hyland worked hard in the middle of the park and Neil McGowan fired in a free after Luke was hailed down. Cian Stenson drilled in the first goal and Steve Grier headed in from a corner. Jeff Gamble’s cross early in the second half capped a fine move, finished by Cian Stenson, who later rounded the keeper to complete his hattrick. Cian then laid on number six for Jeff Gamble.

A couple of late goals by the visitors, softly conceded, put a better gloss on the scoreline.

Form Report
Howard 6 McKeown 6 L Stenson 7 Hogan 7 Murphy 7 Grier 7 McGowan 7 Gamble 7 Hyland 8 Cashman 7 C Stenson 9
Toner 5 Crossan 6 Sharkey 5

Precious Away Win

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

Esker Celtic 1, Spartak 2

Spartak began the game sluggishly against opponents who seemed sharper. However Kevin Cunningham set the tone with some fine interceptions, tackles and forays along the right and gradually the Sky Blues began to play. Just past the half hour mark, a fine Martin Rolfs pass found the overlapping Luke Stenson, who swept past a defender before finding his brother Cian with a cross. Cian swept the ball home to give Spartak the lead. Esker quickly responded and thudded an effort against the frame of the goal, before Cian Stenson was foiled by a brave intervention by the home custodian.

Spartak came even more into the game in the second period, and forced a succession of frees and corners without capitalising; and it was from a Spartak corner that Esker broke fast and cleverly found an unmarked man at the back post who equalised.

The game was pretty even then for a while as the goal had energised the home side, and once again they struck the woodwork. But as the match drifted into injury time, a move involving Amin Afsar and Daire Doyle allowed that man Cian Stenson to find space in the box and force home the winning score.

Form Report
Craig Howard 7 Kevin Cunningham 8 Luke Stenson 8 Ian Harmon 8 Ronan Buckley 8 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Jason Grehan 7 Martin Rolfs 7 Owen Marron 7 Cian Stenson 8
Subs: Daire Doyle 6 Amin afsar 6

A Point Gained

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

Spartak 0, Wayside Celtic 0.

A resolute defensive display by the Sky Blues kept the visitors at bay as they pressed strongly in the second half. Craig Howard took off several fine saves and the back four made their share of blocks and tackles. Spartak had few chance in the second period, the best one falling to Amin Afsar, but the goalkeeper smothered his attempt.

The first half was a more even contest, with chances more evenly spread, but few on either side on target. A bright period of football saw Spartak, without some regulars, play some excellent passing football.

Ronan Buckley grew into a good defensive foil for Stephen Grier, who also had a solid game. Luke Stenson caught the eye with some timely tackles and tidy passing, while Owen Marron, as usual, was energy itself.

The visitors will wonder what they had to do to beat Craig Howard in goal, and departed somewhat dissatisfied with a point. Spartak, on the other hand, were well pleased with their display.

Form Report
Craig Howard 9 Owen Marron 8 Luke Stenson 8 Steve Grier 8 Ronan Buckley 8 Martin Rolfs 7 Jason Gahan 7 Dave Power 6 Stuart Love 7 Cian Stenson 6
Sub Kevin Cunningham 7 Amin Afsar 6

Missed Opportunity

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


Iveagh Celtic 2, Spartak 2

A bright first half performance saw Spartak lead early on when Cian Stenson finished from Owen Marron’s flicked header.

It seemed further goals were to follow, but two goal line clearances foiled the Sky Blues and a flowing move saw Owen Marron’s cross met by Stuart Love’s volley, but just wide.

Spartak continued to press without penetrating the home defence a second time and Iveagh equalised against the run of play following some loose defensive work by the visitors.

Iveagh’s aerial prowess proved useful again in the second half when they took the lead; a free kick was nodded in, allowed by poor Spartak positioning from the dead ball.

Spartak began to look dangerous in attack again and two good chances fell to Amin Afsar, but he was off target each time.

Cian Stenson converted a penalty to equalise, Spartak continued to try for a winner but to no avail.

The final chance fell to Liam Caffrey, but his effort form 18 yards was wide of target.

Form Report
Craig Howard 7 Ronan Buckley 6 Kevin Cunningham 7 Steve Grier 8 Niall Lennon 7 Stuart Love 7 Pedro Lopes 6 Mick Leslie 6 Neil McGowan 7 Cian Stenson 7 Owen Marron 7
Subs: Amain Afsar 6 Eric Barber 6 Liam Caffrey 6

A Point at the Death

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

Enniskerry 1, Spartak 1

As the game moved into injury time, Spartak won a free on the right hand side of the penalty area. A precise Ian Corcoran delivery was headed home by Brandon Lynch to secure a point that had seemed unlikely when the home side had taken the lead with just nine minutes left.

Enniskerry were fluent and dominant in a first half with the home number 9 as a focal point of their attacks.

Only a combination of last ditch defending, and some fine saves by Craig Howard, kept the scoreboard blank.

The game was played at a high tempo, and Spartak’s work rate was admirable in containing the hosts.

In the second period Enniskerry seemed to lose some rhythym and the Sky Blues hard work, allied to better use of the ball, brought them more into the game. Mick Leslie had a couple of chances and was foiled by the keeper and the crossbar; Cian Stenson was fouled at the edge of the box when through, but Eric Barber, usually reliable from the set piece, was profligate with the resulting free kick.

There were plenty of scares at the other end with plenty more defending required to foil the home attack.

One of those draws that felt like a point gained for Spartak, while the home side will feel hard done by after all their attacking endeavour.

Form Report
Craig Howard 8 Conor O’Sullivan 7 Ian Corcoran 7 Chris Hogan 8 Kevin Murphy 7 Pedro Lopes 8 Alex Conroy 7 Mick Leslie 7 Liam Caffrey 7 Eric Barber 7 Cian Stenson 7
Subs: Luke Hyland 7 Martin Rolfs 7 Brandon Lynch 7