Points Shared

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

2.9.17
Spartak 1, Walkinstown 1

A combative game in Marlay saw the visitors halt attacks with niggly offences, so the Spartak found it difficult to forge a rythm. The Spartak goal came from a set piece, Jeff Gamble rising high to flick Ian Harmon’s free kick to the net. Just before this, a vital block by Darren Ritchie prevented the visitors from taking the lead.

The game was a tight battle, with chances at a premium.

A quick break on the hour by Walkinstown saw the equaliser, as the winger broke through the cover to fire low inside the post.

Stephen Barr had a fine run and shot well saved by the visitors’ custodian. Generally

A last gasp effort by Cian Stenson, racing on to a quick throw in by Owen McCormack, was Spartak’ final effort. Hampered and possibly impeded by a covering defender, Cian’s shot was over.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 6 Chris Hogan 6 Cian Stenson 6 Ian Harmon 7 Dave O’Kelly 6 Stuart Love 6 Tom O’Driscoll 6 Darren Ritchie 6 Jason Kelly 6 Stephen Barr 6 Jeff Gamble 5
Subs: Conor Canavan 6 Owen McCormack 6 Kevin Murphy 6 Ciaran Keane 6

Points Dropped

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

10.9.17
Drumcondra/Stella Maris 5, Spartak 5

Conceding three goals when in a comfortable lead does not leave a team feeling on top of the world. Nonetheless there were positives to be drawn from this first Premier Sunday game of the season.

When Mick Leslie fired in from Steve Grier’s knockdown to make it 5-2, Spartak looked home and hosed. However a combination of tiredness and lack of concentration allowed the home side back into the game. A needless corner conceded saw a penalty awarded for handball against Ger Byrne and a snapshot a minute later made it 5-4. The home side were revived, Spartak were pinned back, and finally a rather lucky looping header beat debutant JohnLuke Hayes in the Spartak goal for the equaliser. JohnLuke had an excellent debut, and could not be faulted for any of the goals conceded.

Spartak began tentatively and a lack of defensive cover allowed Drums to take the lead. Steve Grier nodded home Keith Kelly’s free to equalise, and then Dave Kernan’s cross was lashed in by Ger Byrne.

Against the run of play Ian Harmon handled to concede the equaliser from the spot, but Ger Byrne then took advantage of a goalkeeping lapse to put Spartak 3-2 up at the break.

The Sky Blues then had a fine spell of fluent passing and began creating opportunities in waves of attack. Neil McGowan’s effort was blocked; Mick Leslie shot too close to the keeper; Stephen Walsh hit the crossbar with a header. Pressure mounted on the hosts and a flowing move involving Billy O’Neill, Ger Byrne, and Steve Walsh saw Steve Grier make it 4-2.

Then came what seemed like the insurance score from Mick Leslie, but a late collapse saw Spartak fritter away two valuable points.

Form Report:
JohnLuke Hayes 8 David Kernan 8 Billy O’Neill 5 Ian Harmon 6 Keith Kelly 7 Stuart Love 5 Neil McGowan 6 Mick Leslie 6 Steve Grier 8 Ger Byrne 7 Steve Walsh 5
Subs: Paul Kinsella 5 Niall Hanratty 6 Cian Donohoe 6 Karl McCullagh 6

Rain Soaked Win

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

28.8.17
Lucan United 1, Spartak 2

On a miserably wet Monday night in Lucan, Spartak added three more points.

Conor Canavan was the match winner, his sweet finish moving him ahead of Jason Doyle and just behind Dave Browne in the all time scorers list.

Spartak struggled to get their game going, but nonetheless created chances against a shaky home defence. Darragh Logue shot tamely wide, then Stuart Love saw his shot saved when a firmer effort might have been more effective. Jeff Gamble had a number of chances but did not register on the scoresheet.

The Sky Blues broke the deadlock when Darragh Logue nodded home a Sean Doyle free kick, and looked to be comfortable when Conor Canavan scored.

Cian Stenson overlapped energetically, working his way into goalscoring positions, but his finishing was off target.

However the home side reduced arrears in the gathering gloom with a long range effort.

Spartak then had two great chances to increase the lead, Ciaran Keane shooting powerfully over when he might have taken the ball closer, and finally Jeff Gamble firing over from the penalty spot, after he had been pulled back.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 6 Cian Stenson 8 Darragh Logue 6 Sean Doyle 8 Dave Browne 7 Stuart Love 7 Owen Marron 6 Jeff Gamble 7 Niall Lennon 6 Jimmy Dawson 6 Conor Canavan 6
Subs: Jason Kelly 6 Chris Hogan 6 Ciaran Keane 6

Great Start

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

26/8/17
Spartak 6, Aylesbury 3

Spartak overcame the setback of playing with ten men for the last half hour to overcome Aylesbury.

The Sky Blues asserted themselves early on, racing into a two goal lead. Ger Byrne opened the scoring with a rare header from a pinpoint Sean Doyle free kick. Dave O’Kelly sent Ciaran Keane away to lob the keeper and make it two nil. As Spartak relaxed, tempo fell and slackness allowed the visitors to get back in the game with a deflected goal just before half time.

In the second period the goals continued to flow. David Kernan scored after racing on to Darren Ritchie’s flick .

A harsh sending off for Spartak gave the visitors a new impetus, and they reduced the deficit quickly, beating the offside trap. A fine volleyed goal brought Aylesbury level at 3-3, and then, luckily for the Sky Blues, a rasping shot from the edge of the box was marginally off target.

Substitutions gave Spartak new energy and Jsson Kelly sent Jeff Gamble away to restore the lead. Sean Doyle’s long range free made it 5-3, and Jeff Gamble set up Dave Kernan to administer the coup de gras for a 6-3 victory.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 6 Billy O’Neill 6 Sean Doyle 8 Dave O’Kelly 6 Mick Leslie 7 Conor Callis 6 Dave Kernan 8 Ger Byrne 7 Darren Ritchie 6 Ciaran Keane 6
Subs: Stephen Barr 6 Jason Kelly 7 Jeff Gamble 7 Conor Canavan 6

Appearances and Goals updated on Site

Filed under: General news, Over 35 team, Saturday LSL team, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

All time appearances and goals have been updated on the website, as at end of 2016/17 season.

Notable milestones are in reach for some players. Chris Hogan finished the season on 197 games, while Niall Hanratty’s single game during the season brought him to 195. Fintan Grace reached the 600 games milestone, while Neil McGowan passed the 500 mark and Ger Byrne is approaching 300 games. Mick Leslie is making fast progress on 126 matches, while Ross Kelly is taking the scenic route, on 62 games so far.

On the goals front, the race to 100 goals sees Jeff Gamble on 89, closing fast on Steve Walsh who has 92 goals, just behind Ger Byrne on 96.

To date 11 players have scored 100 or more goals for the club – here’s the list:

375 Tony Little
250 Barry Crowe
183 Leo Gartlan
177 David Keegan
173 Neil McGowan
150 Kevin O’Connell
147 Martin McGorian
127 Dave Pender
125 Gerry Doran
116 Jimmy Galloway
101 Martin Morrison

Year End Awards

Filed under: General news, Over 35 team, Saturday LSL team, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Saturday 13th May will see the presentation of the year end awards in the Eden.

Fintan Grace will receive an award for completing 600 competitive appearances.

Nominations have now closed, and the following are the players who are in contention:

Sunday POTY

A wide range of votes saw a record number of nominees:
Dave Kernan, Niall Lennon, Jeff Gamble, Ger Byrne, Steve Grier, Neil McGowan and Stuart Love

For Saturday, the voting was more concentrated and the following are the contenders:
Greg Byrne, Darren Ritchie, Cian Stenson and Mick Leslie.

For Clubman of the Year the nominations are
Mick Leslie, Mick Greene, Paul McGowan, Paul Mohan, Ger Byrne and Jason Doyle.

Spartak edge it

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

26/3/17
Spartak 1, Sallynogin Pearse 0

A free kick scored by Steve Walsh just four minutes from the end clinched a narrow win over a visiting side who created more chances over the course of the game.

Given the circumstances, with injury and suspension restricting the Sky Blues, it was a decent win; all the more so when Steve Grier had to take the keepers jersey. Indeed when Niall Lennon pulled up with a muscle strain with 15 minutes left, he swapped places with Steve; Mick Leslie, as substitute, was carrying a knock and unable to play.

Spartak began shakily and the green clad visitors took the initiative. A couple of runs down Spartak’s right flank saw a header just over and the Sky Blues were later grateful to Niall Lennon for a superb headed clearance when a goal looked certain.

A half clearance by Paul Kinsella saw SallynogginPearse slam a shot against the post in what was probably the best chance up to then, and then the opponents made a mess of a good opportunity when Dave Browne conceded possession on the edge of the penalty area.

Spartak did manage to get in a few crosses, but only one chance, when Jeff Gamble’s heavy touch allowed the ball to run away from him.

Sallynoggin threatened again when Steve Grier advanced to save and Paul Kinsella’s attempted clearance gave the forward the chance to lob the stranded Grier, but luckily the lob cleared the crossbar.

A neat move by Dave Browne, Dave Kernan and Jeff Gamble saw Kernan’s cross from an overlapping run cleared by an alert defender. Then Neil McGowan headed over from Dave Browne’s cross, while Ger Byrne had a goalbound shot blocked from close range.

A late surge saw the visitors concede a free kick on the edge of the “D”. Up stepped Steve Walsh, anonymous until then, to fire a dipping effort over the wall and into the corner.

Form Report
Steve Grier 7 Dave Browne 6 Cian Donohoe 6 Paul Kinsella 6 Darragh Logue 7 Jeff Gamble 6 Neil McGowan 6 Dave Kernan 6 Niall Lennon 7 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Walsh 6
Sub: Mick Leslie

A Welcome Three Points

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

12.3.17
Spartak 4, Palmerstown 1

Spartak completed the double over Palmerstown on a typically bobbly March pitch in Marlay park.

Jeff Gamble, returning after a extended injury-enforced absence, lost no time in getting back on the scoresheet, receiving Steve Walsh’s pass and cutting inside at pace before unleashing a fierce shot pat the visiting custodian.

Spartak doubled their lead when Gamble’s attempt was cleared at the expense of a corner; Steve Grier powerfully headed Walsh’s flag kick home.

Stuart Love had to go off nursing damaged ribs at the interval, with his replacement Cian Donohoe wasting no time in making his usual impression on the match!

Spartak then dropped the tempo somewhat, but still continued to create chances; Ger Byrne fired one wide and then shot over with his next effort. Owen Marron fired wide before getting his name on the scoresheet for number three.

Palmerstown got more into the game and a defensive slip up saw them fire in a goal from the edge of the box.

The game was now more open as the visitors saw that a second goal would make for a competitive end to the match. At the other end Steve Walsh had a effort wide after a Steve Grier pass; Mick Leslie had time and space but fired wide of the far post.

The result was put beyond doubt when Walsh slotted home Marron’s pass from angle on the right.

A satisfactory victory.

Form Report
Daniel Galvin 6 David Kernan 7 Steve Walsh 7 Ian Harmon 8 Paul Kinsella 6 Stuart Love 6 Owen Marron 7 Jeff Gamble 7 Steve Grier 6 Ger Byrne 6 Niall Lennon 6
Subs: Cian Donohoe 6 Mick Leslie 6

Frustrating Defeat

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

18.2.17
Newlands/Castle Park 3, Spartak 1

Both sides suffered at the hands of the worst referee in the League. Newlands had a player booked for heading the ball; Spartak had a bad foul and an offside ignored in the move for the home sides second goal.

Newlands took the lead on 8 minutes when a corner was cleared back to the taker, who was given too much time to measure his cross to the back post, where poor marking proved costly. Spartak soon equalised, with Gary Bridges finding Mick Leslie on the right; Shane McInerney’s guided header fond the corner of the net.

Before the disputed second goal, Spartak had a golden opportunity to take the lead, when, after a fine move , Owen McCormack cut inside to find himself twelve yards out, but, opting for power, he blasted the ball against a post.

The Sky Blues renewed their efforts in the second period, with a great chance falling to Geoff Abraham following Sean Molloy’s cross; Geoff’s effort, from five yards, was too close to the keeper.

Owen McCormack wormed his way through and looked certain to score, but the keeper saved with his leg; consistent with other decisions, the ref awarded a goal kick rather than a corner. Then, Owen McCormack just failed to connect with Cian Stenson’s corner.

Newlands broke well for a third goal, with a header from a cross, and Conor Canavan made a good save from a one on one as Spartak threw men forward.

Form Report
Conor Canavan 7 Chris Hogan 5 Cian Stenson 7 Gary Bridges 6 Dave O’Kelly 6 Shane McInerney 7 Sean Molloy 6 Geoff Abraham 6 Darren Ritchie 6 Mick Leslie 6 Owen McCormack 6
Subs: Leo Bradley 5 Conor Callis 5 Conor Brady 5 Rob Collins 5

Spartak Slump

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

19.2.17
Spartak 0, Valeview Shankill 5

Spartak, without several regulars, faced the form team of LSL Premier in the Polikoff Cup, and failed to match the pace and tenacity of the winners.

Two unnecessary penalties conceded along with a dismissal early in the second half contrived to place Spartak in an impossible position. The dismissal, which was harsh, came after just a few second half minutes.

Valeview had most of the first half play, and hardly need the boost of a sloppy 3rd minute penalty conceded. They generally dominated play for the first quarter and could have been more than one ahead. Gradually, Spartak got a foothold in the game with good runs by Dave Kernan getting the Sky Blues up the pitch. One fine cross from Dave drifted across the goalmouth without a Spartak player to apply the finishing touch. Steve Grier fired against the outside of the post, and Ger Byrne’s shot on the turn was fumbled by the keeper.

On 48 minutes, a red card reduced Spartak to ten men , and the visitors added a fine second from distance. Spartak had a couple of half chance, but the game drifted out of reach when a second penalty was conceded.

The game was played out with the visitors adding a fourth with the aid of a deflection, and capped the victory with a fifth.

Form Report
Peter O’Toole 7 Ian Harmon 7 Cian Donohoe 5 Steve Grier 7 Darragh Logue 7 Stuart Love 5 Neil McGowan 4 Dave Kernan 7 Niall Lennon 5 Ger Byrne 5 Steve Walsh 5
Subs: Paul Kinsella 5 Sean Molloy 6 Mick Leslie 5