Precious Away Win

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

29.8.21
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

22.8.21
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

15.8.21

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

14.8.21
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

Goals Galore

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

7.8.21

Spartak 5, Peamount 4

Spartak began in fine style when Aidan Duignan nodded in Conor O’Sullivan’s free to open the scoring. However, soon the Sky Blues were being overcome in midfield and the home defence was exposed three times in quick succession, leading to two goals and a third being prevented by a Craig Howard save.

Gradually Spartak began to get a grip on the match.

On the half hour Mick Leslie and Alex Conroy combined to send Cian Stenson through and he made no mistake. 2-2. Minutes later the same trio worked the oracle again and Cian got number 3.

Peamount were having the lion’s share of possession and eventually, midway through the second half, equalised direct from a free kick.

A bench boost helped the home side when a Stuart Love flick on was netted by Jeff Gamble, and then Luke Stenson’s run and cross was met by his brother Cian, who completed his hattrick in fine style to make it 5.3.

Peamount were not finished and a second free kick goal caused ripples of anxiety in Sky Blue ranks, but the defence held out resolutely to see the game out.

Form Report
Craig Howard 6 Aidan Duignan 7 Conor O’Sullivan 6 Chris Hogan 6 Kevin Murphy 6 Pedro Lopes 7 Alex Conroy 7 Mick Leslie 7 Liam Caffrey 6 Eric Barber 6 Cian Stenson 8
Subs : Niall Lennon 7 Stuart Love 7 Jeff Gamble 7 Luke Stenson 7

Honours Even

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

11.7.21

Spartak 2, Loughshinny 2

After the long Covid break it was an unusual July start to the season for the men in Sky Blue, with the heat a factor for both sides

Spartak started brightly, but it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play after defensive hesitation by the home side. Spartak pushed back strongly and Dave Power headed home via the crossbar after a free awarded by a foul on Dave and taken by Neil McGowan. Owen Marron with a one on one chance which was saved, and Dave Power with a solo effort grazing the frame of the goal came close before the break.

The sky Blues pressed early in the second period and Stuart Love headed wide from close range, while Loughshinny missed a glorious chance at the other end, before taking the lead with a cracking shot.

Spartak fought back once more and a slick move between Cian Stenson and Dave Power saw the latter slot home the equaliser.

Dave Power then had a snap shot which struck the post as both teams pressed for a winner, but no joy for either, with just a point apiece for all the effort.

Form Report
Adam Halligan 6 Ronan Buckley 6 Kevin Cunningham 7 Steve Grier 6 Ian Harmon 8 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 7 Owen Marron 6 Keith Kelly 6 Dave Power 8 Cian Stenson 6
Sub: Niall Lennon 6

Sky Blues Leave it Late

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

2.2.20
Spartak 3, Edenderry Town 1

After a dull first half stalemate it came as no surprise that the visitors took the lead on the hour mark; just earlier they had missed a very presentable headed chance.

Spartak had created a couple of chances, none better than a very early one which Cian Stenson fired over.

It was only after going behind that the home side roused themselves and Cian Stenson twice went close before Owen Marron equalised from close range.

Spartak took the lead after a cute cross by Dave Browne was headed home at the second attempt by Cian Stenson, after Steve Grier’s first effort rebounding off the crossbar.

The clincher came as the visitors pushed out in search of an equaliser, when Cian Stenson beat the offside trap to run through from 40 yards out and coolly slot in the third.

Form Report
Dave Byrne 7 Niall Hanratty 6 Dave Browne 7 Steve Grier 6 Ian Harmon 8 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 6 Niall Lennon 8 Dave Power 6 Owen Marron 7 Cian Stenson 8
Subs: Ciaran Brady 6 Kevin Murphy 6

Battling Point

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

25.1.20

Spartak 2, Ashbourne 2

Spartak held on for a gritty point against a confident Ashbourne side, who had most of the play and possession.

The Sky Blues took an early lead when Ian Corcoran fired to the top corner from 20 yards for a cracking goal.

Ashbourne took over for a period and snatched an equaliser before the break. The Spartak forward players showed a lack of ability to hold the ball up to take pressure from the defence and Ashbourne benefited.

Once again that man Corcoran was on hand to give Spartak the lead early in the second half, but pressure told and Ashbourne headed in from a cross. The visting number 5 showed impressive dribbling skills but was well contained by an in form Darren Hughes.

A hard earned point.

Form Report
Andy Hughes 7 Chris Hogan 7 Darren Hughes 9 Seamus McCahill 8 Kevin Murphy 8 Dwayne Curry 7 Conor Brady 5 Pedro Lopes 6 Owen McCormack 5 Liam Caffrey 6 Ian Corcoran 8

Subs: Enda Grogan 6 Conor Callis 5 Conor Canavan 5

Narrow Defeat in Balbriggan Mud.

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

11.1.20

Hyde Park 6 Spartak 5

A rip roaring game in Balbriggan, where heavy rain before the game turned the pitch to a quagmire.

An extremely slow start by the Sky Blues saw them concede three goals in the opening quarter. However the response was truly dynamic.

Lee Griffin contrive to miss an open goal from six yards; then he headed home from Dwayne Curry’s cross, but the goal was disallowed for offside against Ciarn Brady.

It was all Spartak now. Aidan Duigan headed in Dwayne Curry’s corner. Then Aidan got a second with a fine left footed volley. The equaliser quickly followed as Ian Corcoran slotted in following a scramble.

The lead came less than a minute into the second period. A terrific move involving Jack Rogers, Darren Hughes, Pedro Lopes saw Ciaran Brady lay it off to Aidan Duignan, whose shot from 25 yards sailed over the keeper to complete a perfect hat trick; right foot, left foot, header.

Gradually the home side regained their composure, aided by a strong bench, and led as we entered the final minutes.

A surging Ciaran Brady run saw his cross converted by Ian Corcoran.

Injury time will not be fondly remembered by Spartak stalwart Kevin Murphy, who was unlucky enough to concede a penalty and then with the final kick of the game shot wide after a fine Darren Hughes cross.

Result no, but the performance continued recent improved trend.

Form Report
Liam Caffrey 7 Chris Hogan 7 Darren Hughes 7 Jack Rogers 8 Kevin Murphy 7 Dwayne Curry 7 Aidan Duignan 9 Pedro Lopes 7 Ciaran Brady 7 Lee Griffin 6 Ian Corcoran 7

Post Christmas Friendly Win

Filed under: Saturday LSL team, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

29.12.19
Parkvale 0, Spartak 2

A calm dry day at Rockbrook saw two second half goals win the game for the Sky Blues in a good run out for both sides.

A brave save by Andy Hughes saw the ball cleared to Dave Browne whose first time pass sent Cian Stenson free. Cian drew a defender before releasing stuart Love aon the left, and his low cross was converted by Gerry McGuiness. A second goal by Cian Stenson clinched the result.

The Spartak defence was ably marshalled by Dave Byrne and Seamus McCahill.

Form Report:
Andy Hughes 7 Aidan Duignan 6 Dave Browne 6 Seamus McCahill 7 Dave Byrne 7 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 5 Conor Canavan 5 Gerry McGuinness 6 Liam Caffrey 5 Cian Stenson 7.