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

Spartak Slip in Sallynoggin

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

16.9.17
Sallynoggin 5, Spartak 2

Spartak produced a poor performance against one of the promotion favourites, conceding an early goal through a series of mix ups.
When Darren Ritchie was fouled, Mick Leslie fired in a fine free kick to equalise, and Spartak found a few openings, but Owen McCormack’s crossing was erratic. A poor pass in teh Spartak box led to a penalty concession, 2-1 at the break.

Mick Leslie had a shot blocked at the start of the second half, before Sallynoggin increased their lead after a fine Greg Byrne block fell to a player at the edge of the box, and he scored with a good effort. Mick Leslie had a free touched over before a stray back pass allowed the home side and easy score.

Owen McCormack tucked away a penalty amid growing Spartak confidence, before another misplaced header saw the home side take full advantage to make it 5-2

Form Report
Greg Byrne 6 Chris Hogan 4 Cian Stenson 6 Kevin Murphy 4 Sean Doyle 5 Stephen Barr 5 Conor Canavan 5 Darren Ritchie 5 Leo Behan 5 Mick Leslie 7 Owen McCormack 5
Subs: Ken Ward 6 Niall Hanratty 5 Ciaran Keane 5 Jason Kelly 5 Matt McGowan 5

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

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