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

Late Winner

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

Spartak 4, Newlands/Castle Park 3

Having fallen behind on the stroke of half time, Spartak surged ahead in a much improved third quarter display, before letting it slip and having to rely on a late winner.

The first half saw the Sky Blues have chances through Conor Brady and Rob Kennedy, but both efforts were saved, and when a poorly executed Spartak free allowed a break out by the visitors, the chance was taken and Spartak were one down.

Spartak began the second period in exhilarating fashion; Conor Brady had the first chance, but his touch deserted him close in. Then a quick fire burst of three goals put the Sky Blues in temporary command.

Liam Caffrey sent Rob Kennedy away on the left, and Owen Marron converted the cross. Shane McInerney’s pass put Owen McCormack through for number two, and then Rob Kennedy provided Owen Marron with number three. Owen McCormack then had an effort cleared off the line.

The visitors seemed to be overwhelmed, but Spartak took their collective foot off the pedal; a point blank header reduced arrears, before the almost inevitable equaliser arrived.

Sean Molloy had two chances, one hitting the post, before a pass from Chris Hogan gave Dave Haczynskyj the chance to fire home from just inside the box for a fine winning goal, with just two minutes to spare.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Cian Stenson 6 Liam Caffrey 6 Dave O’Kelly 7 Fintan Grace 6 Owen Marron 7 Shane McInerney 7 Rob Collins 6 Rob Kennedy 8 Owen McCormack 7 Conor Brady 6
Subs: Dave Haczynskyj 7 Sean Molloy 7 Chris Hogan 6

Torpor in Tymon

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

Tymon Bawn 4, Spartak 0

The fact that Spartak mustered their first shot on target on 89 minutes is evidence of the below par performance. Disrupted by numerous absentees and cry offs, Spartak fielded just three of the previous week’s starting eleven.

The level of disjointment was evident throughout, as the Sky Blues sough in vain for a blend, hampered by the fact that several players were way off form.

Tymon hit the post in a dull first half, which meandered to a close without any player putting his stamp on the match.

But an early second half score gave the home side confidence, although Spartak had probably their best chance of the day to equalise when Geoff Gamble headed Owen Marron’s cross wide from close in.

Eventually the home side got completely on top, and scored at their ease as the Sky Blues wilted in the autumn rain.

Form Report
Jason Northey 5 Bulelani Dunjana 4 Fintan Grace 5 Keith Kelly 5 Karl McCullagh 5 Rob Kennedy 5 Owen Marron 5 Geoff Gamble 4 Mick Leslie 4 Darren Ritchie 5 Owen McCormack 4
Subs: Steve Browne 4 Ciaran Keane 4 Conor Brady 5

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