Clean Sheet Victory

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

Spartak 3, Edenderry Town 0

Spartak began this game brightly, with Dave Kernan and Geoff Gamble going close. Alarm bells rang for the visitors when the irrepressible Gamble beat the keeper but was adjudged to have fouled the covering defender when following up.

Edenderry regrouped and began to take control of the midfield exchanges and Spartak relied on breaks, and then an error by the visitors’ keeper saw Steve Walsh with a big chance, which he pulled wide from a narrow angle.

On 40 minutes, Spartak struck in devastating fashion with a sweeping move. Cian Donohoe’s clearing header was moved on by Dave Kernan and Niall Lennon to Geoff Gamble, who raced goalwards. A clever run by Steve Walsh took the cover away and Gamble drove on to fire home.

Worse was to follow for Edenderry as Walsh and Ger Byrne cmbined for the latter to fire in a cross which Gamble headed forcefully home for number two.

Spartak played the second half in solid but unspectacular fashion, retaining possession and working hard out of possession. Dan Galvin made a good save early on after Cian Donohoe was beaten. Neil McGowan sent Steve Walsh away and when the cross arrived perfectly, a goal seemed inevitable; but McGowan took a second too long and the shot was blocked.

As Edenderry pressed a handball decision against Aodhan McCahill gave them a close in free, but they fired wide. Then Keith Kelly got his feet mixed up at the back post and was relieved when he only conceded a corner. Kelly’s header gave Gamble a chance of a first time shot on the volley, excellently saved by the Edenderry stopper.

With six minutes remaining Spartak put the game beyond doubt when Neil McGowan’s head and Geoff Gamble’s touch put Steve Walsh through for number three.

A sporting game, well refereed, and a pleasing three points.

Form Report
Daniel Galvin 8 Cian Donohoe 7 Aodhan McCahill 7 Dave Browne 7 Steve Grier 8 Geoff Gamble 9 Neil McGowan 7 Dave Kernan 7 Niall Lennon 7 Ger Byrne 7 Steve Walsh 7
Sub: Keith Kelly 6

Spartak escape with a point

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

Spartak 0, Balbriggan 0

The Sky Blues departed Marlay after a battling draw against the north Dublin visitors, who had the majority of chances, including striking the woodwork twice.

However Balbriggan met stubborn resistance in the form of Shane McInerney in midfield and the excellent Greg Byrne in goal, who made vital saves.

It took a while for Spartak’s defence to settle, and several early opportunities were afforded to Balbriggan, but the Spartak goal remained intact. At the other end , Cian Stenson headed over and Darren Ritchie fired wide after being set up by Stenson and Fintan Grace. Ritchie and Dave Haczynskyj set up Cian Stenson who advanced on the keeper; the keeper got enough on it to deflect it wide.

The indefatigable McInerney had his own chance of glory in getting on the end of a move by Owen McCormack and Dave O’Kelly, but his effort was too close to the keeper. Fintan Grace was foiled twice by goal line clearances.

But with Balbriggan making far more opportunities, overall the Sky Blues can be happy with a point.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 9 Chris Hogan 5 Fintan Grace 6 Liam Caffrey 5 Cillian Lalor 6 Shane McInerney 8 Dave O’Kelly 6 Cian Stenson 6 Dave Hacyzinskyj 6 Darren Ritchie 5 Owen McCormack 6
Subs: Joe Dowling 6 Conor Brady 6 Ciaran Keane 6

Hard Work Foiled at the End

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

Pioneers 2, Spartak 1

two injuries in he opening twenty minutes disrupted the Sky Blues, who were unlucky to lose, conceding the winner with just three minutes remaining.

Dan Galvin, who had excelled all game with some fine catches and saves, dropped a ball under severe pressure to allow a soft equaliser and bring a frustrated home side into the game on the hour mark. Spartak led when Neil McGowan’s inswinging free from the right was forced home by Stuart Love after just 13 minutes play.

Pioneers, enjoying more possession, made few clear chances, and when a Dave Kernan slip allowed the striker through, Galvin saved well.

Following the equaliser, Pioneers threw everything forward; in itself this allowed Spartak a few opportunities, with Steve Walsh firing wide, as did Stuart Love. A great saving tackle by Steve Grier prevented a certain score, but the winner came when Spartak broke out; Darragh Logue’s cross was played in front of the defence, and a long ball allowed the striker to pick Dave Browne’s pocket to set up the winner.

Form Report
Daniel Galvin 8 Dave Browne 7 Aodhan McCahill 8 Steve Grier 8 Paul Kinsella 6 Stuart Love 5 Neil McGowan 6 Geoff Gamble 6 Niall Lennon 6 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Walsh 5
Subs: Dave Kernan 7 Darragh Logue 5

Spartak pip Sallynoggin

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

Sallynoggin Pearse 2, Spartak 3

Spartak recovered from conceding an early goal to win a hard fought game.

Only a few minutes had elapsed when the Sky Blues back four made a hames of several clearanaces, with Paul Kinsella’s header proving the perfect through ball for the home striker to score.
In attempting to recoup the deficit, Niall Lennon’s header gave Steve Grier a chance to shoot, and he scraped the top of the crossbar.

Spartak scored a route one equaliser when Grier flicked on Jason Northey’s kick to put Ger Byrne in, and he held off the covering defender to finish neatly. Emboldened, Spartak then had two great chances from good positions, with Geoff Gamble firing wide, and Stuart Love hitting the ball straight to the keeper.

Steve Walsh gave Spartak the lead with a simple finish after a goalkeeping error before the home side striker smartly turned Paul Kinsella but struck the bar with his effort.

Just after half time Dave Browne conceded a penalty to permit the home side to level matters.

Spartak strove to get back in the lead, but Stuart Love missed from close range after Karl McCullagh’s effort came off the crossbar.

With six minutes remaining Geoff Gamble won a header and chased the ball himself to outpace the defender, who took him down as he shot. Steve Walsh dispatched the spot kick for the winner.

The home side then mounted a barrage of attacks which a resilient defence managed to repel to secure the victory.

Form Report
Jason Northey 8 Cian Donohoe 6 Dave Browne 6 Paul Kinsella 6 Karl McCullagh 6 Stuart Love 6 Niall Lennon 8 Geoff Gamble 7 Steve Grier 8 Ger Byrne 7 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Keith Kelly 6 Darragh Logue 6 Mick Young 6

Tough Going

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

Spartak 1, St Josephs 4

Spartak went down fighting to a fine St Joseph’s outfit, who must be favourites for promotion.

The visitors took the lead from a penalty conceded by Jason Northey, despite his vigorous protests that the striker had contrived a foul by falling into him.

While Spartak battled well, they lacked the pace and passing power of the visitors; nonetheless the Sky Blues put up a decent performance in the face of adversity, and made the opposition work hard for their win.

Form Report
Jason Northey 8 Chris Hogan 6 Cian Stenson 8 Mick Young 7 Kevin O’Toole 7 Owen Marron 6 Gary Bridges 6 Karl Davis 5 Darren Ritchie 5 Mick Leslie 5 Owen McCormack 6
Subs: Shane McInerney 6 Cillian Lalor 6 Ciaran Keane 6

Dozy Spartak Succumb to Bray

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

Spartak 2, Bray 6

A disastrous start defined this game. A decent second half could not compensate for the errors of the first period.
Almost immediately, Bray scored following a simple short corner move which caught the Spartak back four dozing, unable to cut out the cross or mark the scorer at the back post. Aodhan McCahill the proceeded to obtain two yellow cards, the second of which also resulted in a penalty. 0-2.
Bray continued to hand out harsh lessons during the first half, and by the interval had scored four goals.

The introduction of some fresh blood in the second half saw Spartak mount something of a fightback, with Ger Byrne and Steve Walsh pen after Bray made it 5-0. Darragh Logue had a chance to make the last 15 minutes interesting, but he headed over. Bray then added number 6 to rub it in.

Form Report
Daniel Galvin 5 Cian Donohoe 6 Dave Browne 5 Paul Kinsella 4 Aodhan McCahill 4 Stu Love 5 Niall Lennon 5 Keith Kelly 5 David Kernan 4 Ger Byrne 5 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Steve Grier 6 Geoff Gamble 6 Darragh Logue 6


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


Spartak 4, Mount Merrion Youths 6

An extraordinary collapse by Spartak, who had raced into a three nil lead. Between the 43rd and 47th minutes the visitors were allowed to score four times in a many minutes to turn the game around following a series of individual errors, and although Ciaran Keane fired in a long range equaliser, Mount Merrion pulled away in the last minutes.

It all looked so different in the approach to half time. Conor Callis had stroked home from Geoff Gamble’s pass before Gamble added two more fine efforts.

Spartak conceded from a corner after 43 minutes, and then a terrible mix up under a long ball gave the visitors s walk in goal.

Chris Hogan, attempting to prevent conceding a corner, was robbed and in the first minute of the second period it was 3.3
and a minute later the Spartak defence obligingly allowed Mt Merrion to add number four.

The shell shocked Sky Blues tried to rally, and Ciaran Keane fired in over a stranded keeper to equalise.

As Spartak pushed forward in search of further goals, the vistors used their pace to add numbers five and six against a dispirited home side.

Form Report
Mick Greene 5 Chris Hogan 4 Cian Stenson 6 Fintan Grace 4 Liam Caffey 5 Gary Bridges 5 Geoff Gamble 8 Mick Leslie 5 Conor Callis 4 Darren Ritchie 5 Ben Johnson 4
Subs: Ciaran Keane 5 Steve Browne 4

Defiant Display

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

Sallynoggin Pearse 2 , Spartak 3

Excellent goalkeeping by Greg Byrne, and when he was forced off though injury, Kevin Loftus took over and was coolness itself, although Kevin was much less troubled by direct efforts as the Spartak defence knitted together to restrict opportunities. Greg made quite a few great saves in the opening period as the home side strove to get back in the game after Spartak’s two goal burst in the opening 9 minutes.

Mick Leslie turned in Chris Hogan’s cross before Dave Hacyzynskyj added number two with the help of a slight deflection.

Sallynoggin gradually hauled themselves back into the game and eventually equalised, but were also profligate with their chances.

Mick Young poked in the winner via the post following a corner, and as darkness fell, Spartak manned the pumps to repel an increasingly frustrated home side.

The foundation for the victory lay in the tireless work of Rob Collins and Owen Marron in midfield, while the back four were a solid combination, with brave blocks by Liam Caffrey and Fintan Grace.

Impressive competitive debuts from Liam, Ben, Cian, Rob and Owen.

From Report
Greg Byrne 9 Chris Hogan 7 Cian Stenson 8 Fintan Grace 8 Liam Caffrey 8 Rob Collins 8 Owen Marron 8 Ben Johnson 7 Dave Haczynskyj 8 Darren Ritchie 7 Mick Leslie 8 Mick Young 7 Kevin Loftus 7 Geoff Gamble 7

Seconds to Spare

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

Spartak 3, Transport 2

A very welcome victory on the opening day of the season, courtesy of a Geoff Gamble goal with (according to the referee) five seconds remaining!

There were some notable highlights in a lack lustre display, with Stuart Love made a scoring comeback on his return from serious injury and gave an overall energetic display, while Aodhan McCahill headed in for his second of the season, and is now joint top scorer!

The Love and McCahill goals were both headers from corners by Steve Walsh.

Transport caused problems with a striker who caused the home defence problems and fired in a great second goal to give the visitors a 2-1 lead on the hour mark, having taken the lead initially on the quarter hour mark.

Niall Lennon missed a big chance after good work by Ger Byrne and Cian Donohoe, while Ger Byrne fired wide from a decent position. Transport were guilty of a big miss just minutes before Spartak secured the win, and will fell hard done by overall.

Niall Lennon was the provider for Geoff Gamble to poke in the winner under pressure from defender and keeper to secure a fine win from a slightly substandard performance.

Form Report
Dan Galvin 7 Cian Donohoe 7 Aodhan McCahill 8 Paul Kinsella 7 Karl McCullagh 7 Kevin O Toole 7 Stuart Love 7 David Kernan 6 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Walsh 6 Niall Lennon 7 Neil McGowan 5 Steve Grier 5 Jeff Gamble 7

More Friendlies

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

Spartak 5, Phonewatch 0

The Sky Blues played a friendly against a Phonewatch team who are heading to Spain shortly to play in a tournament.However the first half pace saw Spartak score three without reply, through Ger Byrne, Steve Walsh and Dave Hacynskyj.

The pace dropped somewhat in the second half, but Geoff Gamble laid a goal on for Dave Kernan, while Ger Byrne fired in from Steve Grier’s pass.

A decent workout and an introduction to season 2016/7 for Messrs McCullagh, Grier and Walsh, all of whom looked in need of a run.

Form Report: Steve Grier 6 Cian Donohoe 6 Paul Kinsella 5 Keith Kelly 5 Karl McCullagh 6 Stu Love 5 Geoff Gamble 6 Dave Kernan 6 Niall Lennon 7 Ger Byrne 7 Rob Collins 6 Dave O Kelly 5 Kevin O’Toole 6 Steve Walsh 5 Dave Hacynskyj 5

Aston Village 4, Spartak 1

With a number of debutants and some who were a little ring rusty, Spartak were tentative in the opening stages. Gradually the Sky Blues rallied and were unlucky not to take the lead, albeit against the run of play, when a penetrative pass by Owen McCormack put Ronan Sharkey clear of the cover. However the keeper got enough on the shot to turn the ball onto the inside of the post. The hosts took the lead in the 42nd minute, and added to that lead on the hour, although there was a suspicion of offside.

Spartak tired somewhat and the hosts added two more before Ciaran Keane fired in a consolation score.

Form Report: Conor Robinson 7 Zach Colman 6 Barry Maguire 5 Mick Greene 5 Cian Donohoe 8 Fintan Grace 6 Gary Bridges 6 Gerry McGuinness 6 Mick Leslie 5 Owen McCormack 6 Darren Ritchie 7 Ben Johnson 6 Liam Caffrey 5 Ronan Sharkey 5 Ciaran Keane 6 Conor Callis 4 Bruno Martins 5 Chris Hogan 5 Geoff Gamble 5

Seaford Rock 3, Spartak 2

A poor first half display saw Spartak overwhelmed by a speedier home side. Sporadic attacks saw Conor Callis fire wide, while Ciaran Keane missed the only presentable chance. Meanwhile, desperate defending was the order of the day with late blocks, a fine Kevin Loftus save, and the width of the crossbar keeping Seaford out, until they took the lead from a corner. A second goal early in the second half seemed to put the hosts well in control, but Spartak fought back. Steve Browne slotted in from Darren Ritchie’s flick on, while Conor Callis missed after a fine run. Man of the Match Dave O’Kelly finished off a move he himself had started but the home side secured the winner with minutes remaining, from what might have been an offside position.

Form Report
Kevin Loftus 7 Chris Hogan 5 Mick Greene 5 Fintan Grace 7 Dave O’Kelly 8 Shane McInerney 6 Joe Dowling 5 Mick Leslie 5 Darren Ritchie 6 Gary Bridges 5 Conor Brady 5 Conor Callis 5 Ciaran Keane 5 Barry Maguire 5 Steve Browne 6

Spartak 1, Terenure College 2

Spartak opened well and seemed aout to overwhelm the opposition, but some poor decision making and lack of sharpness saw a number of opportunities go abegging. Karl McCullagh nodded in fro Steve Walsh’s corner after good pressure from Geoff Gamble, and a Ger Byrne lob bounced onto the crossbar. Keith Kelly fired over with the defence in disarray.

Gradually Terenure gained a foothold and equalised following poor marking at a corner. Worse was to follow when Jason Northey’s pass saw Karl McCullagh dispossessed and Terenure went on to make it 2-1.

Few chances of note were created by either side in a lacklustre second period, although Steve Walsh went close from a free kick.

A disappointing performance overall.

Form Report
Jason Northey 5 Dave Browne 5 Darragh Logue 6 Paul Kinsella 5 Karl McCullagh 5 Kevin O’Toole 5 Geoff Gamble 6 Keith Kelly 5 Steve Grier 5 Stuart Love 5 Steve Walsh 5 Ger Byrne 6 Cian Donohoe 5 Kevin Caldwell 5 Rob Collins 5 Aodhan McCahill 6