Worst of the Season

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

24.3.18
Castleknock Celtic 6, Spartak 0

Despite a few absentees, Spartak, on paper at least, had a decent line up, against opponents who had succumbed in the reverse fixture in Marlay.

Unfortunately, the game was not played on paper, but on the dry and bumpy pitch at Porterstown Park.

Suffice to say the hosts were lively, energetic and accurate in their passing; qualities which were not exhibited by the Sky Blues on the day.

Form Report – a collective 4. Stinker.

Greg Byrne Cian Stenson Niall Hanratty Stephen Barr Ian Harmon Jason Kelly Conor Callis Mick Leslie Mikey Ryan Kev Nolan Ciaran Keane .
Subs: Conor Canavan Ross Kelly Alex Ionescu

AGM

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

19.3.18

The Annual General Meeting will take place in the Eden House on Tuesday 27th March at 9.15pm. Those who have paid annual membership may attend.

Win Lifts Spartak to Fourth Place

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

24.2.18
Walkinstown 1, Spartak 2

Despite the absence of a number of key players, the Sky Blues produced a fine performance to garner three points and move to the edge of the promotion race.

Spartak began well and vreated several clear chances before going ahead just before half time. Jason Kelly took adavantage of a keeper miskick but fired wide of the empty goal, Then fine move between Danny Loughran and Gerry McGuinness set up the unmarked Ciaran Keane seven yards out, but he fired over. An Owen McCormack free caused havoc in the home penalty box, but Kevin Murphy, from no more than a couple of yards saw his effort blocked for a corner.

Finally Danny Loughran ran on to a deflected long ball to round the keeper and make it 1-0.

That’s not to say the home side were without a few efforts, and Spartak were grateful to Greg Byrne for a couple of sharp saves.

The home side came out in very determined fashion for the second half and equalised after a couple of minutes from close range. Spartak were put under the cosh and had to defend manfully to repel the home side’s attacks. Breakouts were rare and on one occasion Conor Callis had a good run, beat his man , but his cross let him down.

With 15 minutes to go, Conor Callis had a good run, beat his man again; this time he was tripped – penalty. Owen McCormack despatched the kick efficiently.

Then came the real siege. Walkinstown had a big miss, wide from a good position. Then they struck the post, and finally, in stoppage time, there were incredible goal line clearances from Chris Hogan and Sean Doyle.

A gritty win.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 8 Chris Hogan 8 Leo Behan 8 Owen McCormack 8 Kevin Murphy 8 Jason Kelly 7 Conor Callis 7 Mick Leslie 7 Gerry McGuinness 8 Ciaran Keane 7 Danny Loughran 7
Sub: Sean Doyle 7

Mission Impossible

Filed under: Saturday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Rush 4, Spartak 0

It seems this game was not destined to go well for the Sky Blues.

Numerous cry offs and no shows made for a struggle to field a side, notwithstanding that only 5 points separated the sides before the game. Additionally, Spartak had a game in hand on second placed Rush, who had succumbed to a 3-1 defeat in Marlay earlier in the season.

Luckily, club stalwarts Stuart Love, Dave Browne and Tom O’Driscoll travelled to fill some of the gaps.

Worse was to follow. The referee awarded the first two ludicrously offside goals, while missing a really bad tackle on Stephen Barr. The offside goals were not of the usual few disputed marginal yards, in each case the home forward, assuming the whistle would blow, had to be urged to carry on by his quicker thinking team mates.

For the second goal, the Rush player was not within 30 yards of a Spartak defender, but allowed to carry on and score. Everyone present assumed the ref was waiting for the player to touch the ball before whistling.

Naturally, goals change games, and finding themselves unjustly two down early in the second period, anxiety and bad decision making by Spartak compounded the situation. Sean Doyle missed a couple of opportunities to claw Spartak back into the game, Mick Leslie forced the keeper into a good save, but, despite the efforts of all the home side took advantage of errors to add two legitimate goals, albeit the result of sloppy defending.

The Sky Blues, to their credit, stuck gamely to the impossible task, driven on by Leo Behan in midfield and the energy of Sean Doyle and the indefatigable Mick Leslie, but could not do much against such impossible odds.

The refereeing standards in the LSL have really plummeted.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 5 Dave Browne 6 Sean Doyle 7 Stephen Barr 6 Stuart Love 6 Andre Gabriel 5 Mick Leslie 6 Leo Behan 7 Tom O’Driscoll 5 Kevin Murphy 5
Sub: Kevin Loftus 5

Spartak Finish Year in Style

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

9.12.17
Spartak 10, Ashbourne 0

The Sky Blues fired a ten goal salvo against a hapless Ashbourne side that was hampered by an early red card, and suffered another dismissal in the second half.

Spartak were not in sympathetic mood, and Mick Leslie helped himself to a five goal haul to top the club scoring charts. Andre Gabriel (2), Cian Stenson, Jason Kelly and Stuart Love got the other scores.

Early on, Greg Byrne saved well to keep the visitors at bay, but after the dismissal had little to do. Steve Grier and Stuart Love combined to open the floodgates, and the goals flowed in quick succession.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 7 Cian Stenson 7 Steve Grier 8 Dave Browne 7 Stuart Love 8 Jason Kelly 8 Niall Hade 8 Dave Berry 8 Mick Leslie 9 Andre Gabriel 7
Subs: Seamus McCahill 6 Ciaran Keane 5 Danny Loughran 6

Clean Sheet Victory

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

18.11.17

Spartak 1, Castleknock Celtic 0

Spartak owed the clean sheet to some stout defending, assured goalkeeping by Greg Byrne, but also to a big miss by a Castleknock player in the first half. The winger evaded Kevin Loftus and Chris Hogan to deliver an inviting cross to the unmarked striker, who headed against the crossbar and over when it seemed a routine act to score

This chance came after the visitors had established a level of control, late in the first half. For the first quarter or so, Spartak had dominated proceedings, only to be let down by the final ball, or lack of composure in front of goal. The best chance fell to Dave Berry, still rusty after a long lay off, who raced on to a deflected pass to go one on one. Opting for power rather than finesse, he blasted the ball at the keeper who pushed it onto the post and away for a corner. Cian Stenson also had a score ruled out for offside.

Passes then started to go astray and the visitors were allowed into the contest.

Many times during the game, Conor Callis showed a clean pair of heels to the visitors’ defence, but too often the final ball was lacking. It was however from one of his runs which forced a corner that brought the decisive goal, Niall Hade nodding in Dave Berry’s flag kick in the 73rd minute.

As the visitors pushed forward in search of the equaliser, Spartak broke as Mick Leslie beat the keeper in a race for Greg Byrne’s kick out. Mick squared it to Matt Forbes, whose effort was cleared off the line. Appeals for handball were ignored.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 9 Kevin Loftus 6 Cian Stenson 7 Chris Hogan 7 Keith Kelly 8 Darren Ritchie 7 Leo Behan 7 Conor Callis 6 Mick Leslie 6 Niall Hade 6 Dave Berry 6
Sub: Matt Forbes 5

Stirring Comeback

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

11/11/17
Aylesbury 2, Spartak 4

The Sky Blues scored a timely away win in rain soaked Aylesbury.

With key central defenders absent through injury, Spartak had to improvise, and the players responded well. As usual both sides had to cope with the idiosyncratic refereeing performance, and both sides expressed their frustration at times.

Spartak had most of the play in the first half, but the final pass too often went astray. Cian Stenson set up Mick Leslie for the best chance, but he pulled his effort wide; Mick also struck the frame of the goal from a narrow angle following a corner by Andrei Gabriel. The home side then took the lead against the run of the play when the ball dropped kindly for the attacker following a corner.

Worse was to follow when loose marking allowed the home striker to fire in early in the second period.

However the tenacity of Mick Leslie paid off when he reduced arrears , and almost immediately he laid on a cross for Cian Stenson to equalise after a flowing move also involving Niall Hade and Conor Callis.

Spartak were now rampant and Mick Leslie converted Dave Berry’s cross to put the Sky Blues ahead. A number of injuries then disrupted the Sky Blues, and Aylesbury laid siege to the Spartak goal.

A number of blocks, clearances and saves from Greg Byrne kept the home side at bay. It looked as if the home number 5 had equalised with a bullet header from corner kick, but somehow Greg Byrne made a near miraculous reaction to push the effort over.

As the home side pushed forward, they left space at the back and this was punished when Mark Naughton tapped in after Dave Berry’s run and cross.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 9 Andrei Gabriel 7 Cian Stenson 8 Chris Hogan 8 Darren Ritchie 7 Jason Kelly 8 Conor Callis 5 Mick Leslie 8 Conor Canavan 7 Niall Hade 7 Leo Behan 7
Subs: Dave Berry 7 Kevin Loftus 6 Matt Forbes 6 Mark Naughton 6

Leslie Screamer sends Spartak on the way to Three Points

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

7.10.17
Spartak 2, Enniskerry 1

Spartak, having dominated the first half, made hard work in the second period of clinching the win.

The Sky Blues had a tremendous boost when Mick Leslie latched onto Sean Doyle’s pass, turned, and fired to the top corner from 25 yards past a helpless custodian.

Conor Callis, regularly fed by Niall Hade and Darren Ritchie, gave the visitors full back a torrid time with pace and trickery, albeit the final ball did not always yield positive results.

A harsh penalty allowed Enniskerry equalise, and the visitors were dangerous on the break, with the Sky Blues defence stretched to make vital interceptions.

When Niall Hade sent Conor Callis scurrying away down the left, he outfoxed the full back and saw his first cross blocked. At the second attempt he found the willing head of Darren Ritchie, who nodded in from close range.

In the second period, Enniskerry took the initiative, with Spartak attacks becoming more sporadic.
As tiredness set in, Spartak emptied the bench, and were indebted to one of the subs, when a tremendous challenge by Garrett Ritchie in the penalty area prevented what seemed a certain equaliser.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 7 Cian Stenson 7 Sean Doyle 7 Stephen Barr 7 Leo Behan 5 Conor Callis 7 Mick Leslie 6 Conor Canavan 6 Darren Ritchie 6 Niall Hade 6
Subs: Collie Dunne 6 Ciaran Keane 5 Owen McCormack 6 Garrett Ritchie 6

Spartak Pipped by Late Goal

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

30/9/17
Iveagh Celtic 2, Spartak 1

Spartak matched the unbeaten league leaders for most of the game, but were undone by a late winning goal.

A faltering first half performance by the Sky Blues handed the home team possession and much of the initiative. Spartak’s only decent chance saw Sean Doyle’s headed touched away by the keeper. This was after a long range effort had given Iveagh the lead.

In the second period, Spartak were much sharper, Niall Hade equalising almost immediately. Mick Leslie then had a run but fired wide, before Niall Hade almost repeated his earlier effort, this time firing too close to the keeper, with Mick Leslie firing the loose ball over from close range.

Greg Byrne made a fine save as the visitors attacked. Iveagh forced a series of corners, before Darren Ritchie fired wide after a good move.

As the game seemed to peter out, a free from the half way line saw a lay off and a snap shot to secure the points for Iveagh.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 5 Cian Stenson 6 Sean Doyle 7 Stephen Barr 7 Leo Behan 6 Mick Leslie 6 Niall Hade 6 Conor Canavan 5 Ciaran Keane 5 Jason Kelly 7
Subs: Darren Ritchie 6 Dave Berry 6 Garrett Ritchie 6

Solid Performance too much for Rush

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

23/9/17
Spartak 3, Rush 1

Spartak overcame the setback of going a goal down to an early penalty to immediately fight back.

Within minutes Niall Hanratty found Ger Byrne with a through pass and Ger made no mistake to complete a century of Spartak goals. Just 17 minutes had elapsed when Niall Hanratty fastened onto a Mick Leslie pass to confidently convert and give the Sky Blues the lead.

Spartak dominated the remainder of the half without adding to the scoring.

An early second half breakthrough saw Mick Leslie send Conor Callis away and then fire in the return pass to make it 3-1.
Conor Callis then fired wide of the near post when in a great position, and Cian Stenson, making a typical break, exchanged passes to find himself bearing down on goal. He looked to be in a great position to shoot, but chose to pass, but failed to find Conor Callis in support.

Chris Hogan made a couple of fine blocks as Rush strove to get back in the game, but Spartak saw out the game to clinch the points.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 7 Cian Stenson 7 Stephen Barr 8 Dave O’Kelly 6 Mick Leslie 8 Leo Behan 6 Niall Hanratty 7 Conor Callis 8 Ger Byrne 7 Niall Hade 7
Subs: Wes Baldwin 5 Garrett Ritchie 5 Kevin Murphy 6