Hard Earned Point for Depleted Sky Blues

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

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

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

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

Sky Blues Slip up

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

Spartak 1, Rush 2

A Steve Grier throw in was deflected onto the rush crossbar and off the lien as Spartak strove for the opening score.
Rush showed plenty of intent also, forcing Bobby Hayes into a good save before hitting the woodwork themselves.

Conor Brady’s weak effort was not enough to effect a breakthrough, and Shane Cunningham fired wide from decent position, before putting Conor Brady in to finish neatly.

But a low cross was converted by Rush on 37 mnutes to denythe Sky Blues an interval lead, and in the first minute of the second period Mick Leslie failed to clear and Rush made it two.

Both sides had half chances, Spartak pushed on for an equaliser and left the back door somewhat open. Sean Molloy and Geoff Abraham had the best opportunities, but did not trouble the visiting keeper.

A disappointing performance.

Form Report
Bobby Hayes 6 Cian Stenson 6 Mick Leslie 4 Steve Grier 6 Liam Caffrey 6 Gary Bridges 5 Owen Marron 5 Conor Brady 5 Shane Cunningham 5 Darren Ritchie 5 Owen McCormack 7
Subs: Sean Molloy 5 Bulelani Dunjana 5 Geoff Abraham 5

Point Gained – or Two Lost?

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

Spartak 2, Dublin Central 2

After defensive errors had allowed the visitors a second minute advantage, Spartak regrouped and pressed hard. Ger Byrne missed from close range, Owen Marron had an effort saved, but then cracked home the equaliser on five minutes.
Possession squandered easily allowed the visitors the chance and they made it 2-1. Just seven minutes goe, many chances and three goals!
Strangely the scoring was completed on 19 minutes. Darragh Logue hit a long cross field pass from left to right. The ball looked to be going out of play, but Dave Kernan not only caught it, but effected a marvellous cross on the run. Steve Grier popped up in the box to head home the second equaliser.

The second half could not live up to the excitement of the first period, and both teams tightened up at the back, reducing opportunities. Steve Grier had a good long range effort saved.

Form Report
Daniel Galvin 7 Cian Donohoe 6 Darragh Logue 7 Dave Browne 6 Steve Grier 7 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 5 Dave Kernan 7 Owen Marron 7 Ger Byrne 5 Steve Walsh 5
Subs: Eric Barber 5 Aodhan McCahill 6 Cormac O’Connor 6

Phantom Penalty Denies Sky Blues

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

Spartak 1, Walkinstown 2

A late and controversial penalty (seen only by the referee) gave the visitors the narrowest of wins against a Spartak team who put up a decent show and deserved something from the game.

Owen McCormack’s effort looked to be enough to enough to get a point in a tight game, and it was particularly galling to lose the match in such fashion.

Walkinstown have been involved in many low scoring games, and this was no exception, with chances at a premium.

A bitter pill to swallow.

Form Report
Bobby Hayes 7 Chris Hogan 7 Cian Stenson 8 Liam Caffrey 6 Dave O’Kelly 6 Shane McInerney 7 Leo Bradley 6 Mick Leslie 5 Shane Cunningham 6 Darren Ritchie 6 Owen McCormack 8
Subs: Conor Callis 6 Sean Molloy 6 Conor Brady 6

Opportunity Missed

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

Spartak 1, Balbriggan 2

Spartak paid the price for failing to press home their advantage after Balbriggan were reduced to ten men.
When Ger Byrne rounded the keeper, just outside the box, the keeper took him down. Red card and free on the edge of the box. Steve Grier converted the free against the deputy keeper with a low drive.

With the visitors struggling to adjust, Spartak created chances. Darragh Logue’s effort was cleared off the line, Ger Byrne shot over, Niall Lennon’s effort was saved, as were efforts from Stuart Love and Steve Grier.

Balbriggan , beaten only once , came out more aggressively in the second half, with the Sky Blues tending to sit back, and accordingly ceded midfield control

Steve Grier and Ger Byrne had efforts foiled to increase the lead, but the Sky Blues paid the full price when the visitors struck with two late goals.

Form Report
Eric Barber 7 Cian Donohoe 5 Darragh Logue 5 Dave Browne 5 Steve Grier 8 Stuart Love 5 Neil McGowan 5 Dave Kernan 5 Niall Lennon 5 Ger Byrne 5 Thom O’Driscoll 6
Sub Steve Walsh 6

Bench Boost

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

Spartak 5, Sandford St Marys 3 (AET)

Spartak advanced to the second round of the Leinster Junior Shield courtesy of this extra time win over their UCFL based oppponents in a tough game in Marlay Park

The rule allowing additional substitutes benefited Spartak, who were able to use four men from the bench to contribute in decisive fashion with Conor Callis, Shane McInerney and Leo Bradley all scoring. Shane’s goal was vital, an equaliser minutes from the end to force extra time.

Greg Byrne had to be in fine form for the Sky Blues as the visitors piled pressure on. Owen McCormack equalised after and early lead goal put Spartak behind.

Robbie Kennedy fired Spartak in front before the visitors charged back into a 3-2 lead.

After Shane McInerney’s key effort, Conor Callis and Leo Bradley scored fine efforts to clinch victory.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 8 Chris Hogan 6 Cian Stenson 5 Liam Caffrey 4 Darren Ritchie 4 Rob Collins 5 Sean Molloy 5 Conor Brady 5 Mick Leslie 5 Owen MCCormack 7 Robbie Kennedy 8
Subs: Leo Bradley 8 Shane McInerney 7 Conor Callis 7 Shane Cunningham 4

All Square in Dundrum.

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

Mt Merrion Youths 0, Spartak 0

A superb Greg Byrne save, late on in the game, ensured Spartak earned a point in a tough battle at Rosemount.

Overall it was a game of few chances, with each team working hard to deny time and space to their opponents.

Rob Collins and Owen Marron worked hard in the middle for Spartak, while Dave O’Kelly had one of his better games in the heart of the Sky Blue defence. Up front Spartak were hampered when Dave Haczynskyj had to go off after a bad tackle.

Darren Ritchie created a couple of second half chances, but clear opportunities were few and far between for both sides.

A point apiece was a fair result.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 9 Chris Hogan 7 Cian Stenson 7 Liam Caffrey 7 Dave O’Kelly 8 Rob Collins 7 Owen Marron 7 Bule Dunjana 5 Dave Haczynskyj 6 Owen McCormack 6 Rob Kennedy 6
Subs: Darren Ritchie 6 Shane Cunningham 6 Sean Molloy 5

Down to Earth

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

Liffey Vally Rangers 5, Spartak 2

After a pleasing win over Edenderry, Spartak flopped against one if the leading sides.

The seeds of defeat were sown in a fairly even first half, with Geoff Gamble lost to injury and Steve Walsh’s penalty saved, while Neil McGowan’s header came back off the bar. To compound matters, Liffey took the lead in the 44th minute.

When Steve Grier went forward from the back and possession was surrendered, the cover was insufficient to prevent number 2 early in the second half, and on 55 minutes Spartak again folded and went three down.

A brief revival saw Stu Love convert Dave Kernan’s cross, and then Ger Byrne and Steve Walsh missed close in chances emanating from Steve Grier’s long throw.

As play swung from end to end, it was Liffey who made it 4-1, before Dave Kernan reduced arrears from Neil McGowan’s through ball. A further defensive error saw Liffey add the fifth.

Decent first half, but fairly abysmal second period.

Form Report
Jason Northey 4 Cian Donohoe 4 Aodhan McCahill 5 Dave Browne 4 Steve Grier 6 Geoff Gamble 6 Neil McGowan 5 Niall Lennon 5 Ger Byrne 4 Dave Kernan 5 Steve Walsh 4
Subs: Stu Love 5 Darragh Logue 5 Paul Kinsella 4