Sky Blues edge past Dogged Esker

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

Spartak 2, Esker Celtic 1

Victory for the Sky Blues was secured by virtue of a close range Stuart Love finish after Cian Stenson’s shot was parried, and a direct free kick scored by Neil McGowan after Daire Doyle’s run was halted,unlawfully, in the D outside the penalty area. Neil got the ball up and over the wall to leave the keeper helpless.

Stuart had earlier had a goal chalked off for offside; Spartak were the brighter, and took the lead, but then some sleepy marking allowed the Esker full back complete a good move to equalise.

Chris Hogan, deputising in goal for Craig Howard, had a fine game and made some good stops, notably late on as Esker pressed for a leveller. A brilliant fast break by Owen Marron and Cian Stenson saw them exchange passes before Owen laid on a chance for Cian to clinch the game. On this occasion Spartak’s top scorer lifted the ball over the bar.

A hard fought win.

Form Report
Chris Hogan 8 Owen Marron 8 Luke Stenson 8 Kevin Cunningham 8 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Jason Gahan 6 Daire Doyle 6 Dave Power 6 Cian Stenson 6 Martin Rolfs 6

Stalemate in Loughshinny

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

Loughshinny 2, Spartak 2

Spartak recorded a draw in a tough encounter with the home team, who were fired up for the game. Nonetheless Spartak created the better first half chances, with Jason Gahan, Neil McGowan and Dave Power all having good opportunities. Dave Power gave Spartak the half time lead with a cool finish when Kevin Cunningham’s cross wasn’t dealt with by the home defence. Dave Power was barged in the box, fell just outside, from where the ref awarded a free kick. Jason Gahan’s attempt was just wide.

Stuart Love was just wide after Cian Stenson’s shot was parried but the home side sprang back into the game with a softly awarded penalty, and took the lead with a close range finish shortly after. Spartak rallied and equalised following good work by Jason Gahan and Dave Power, sharply finished on the turn by Cian Stenson.

Chances to secure the three points were missed when Neil McGowan sprang the ofside trap to run clean through, but was foiled by the keeper. Cian Stenson then evaded the keeper, and his effort rolled across the open goal, struck the post and stayed out.

Form Report
Craig Howard 7 Kev Cunningham 7 Luke Stenson 7 Ian Harmon 7 Ronan Buckley 6 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 6 Jason Gahan 7 Steve Grier 6 Dave Power 7 Cian Stenson 7
Sub Niall Lennon 6

Spartak Power past Finglas

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

Spartak 6, Finglas Utd 3

A Dave Power hat trick helped Spartak clinch victory after the visitors had pulled back from 3-1 to level. Daire Doyle’s first goal for the club gave Spartak the lead when he turned in Jason Gahan’s free kick to give the Sky Blues a half time lead.

The game really opened up in the second half. Goals galore followed. Firstly Dave Power with a fine turn and finish, and then Cian Stenson added number three with a diving header from Owen Marron’s sumptuous cross. The Sky Blues then seemed to think it was game over. However, Spartak’s air of relaxation was punctured when the visitors reduced arrears with a speculative effort, and then equalised.

Spartak redoubled their efforts and Dave Power’s long range effort caught the keeper out, and Cian Stenson added number five with a cool finish. Owen Marron hit the post, and later had a an effort blocked, which fell to Dave Power to slot his third goal.

A good result in the end.

Form Report
Craig Howard 6 Owen Marron 8 Luke Stenson 7 Steve Grier 7 Ronan Buckley 7 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Jason Gahan 7 Daire Doyle 7 Dave Power 9 Cian Stenson 8
Kevin Cunningham 7 Niall Lennon 6

Nervy Ending

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

Spartak 3, Portmarnock 2

Spartak dominated the first half in terms of chances created, and were good value for a one nil half time lead. Playing good football, the passing was good enough to create a number of chances. The Stensons combined to send Dave Power clear and he made no mistake. Cian Stenson had a a few opportunities, and was denied twice by the frame of the goal; Dave Power, Jason Gahan and Owen Marron also had decent efforts.

Steve Grier touched in for a corner and Cian Stenson finished a fine move by Jason Gahan and Owen Marron to add goals 2 and 3.

All seemed comfortable until firstly, a soft goal from a poorly defended corner, and then a fine shot by the visitors number 17 into the top corner made it 3-2. Portmarnock also had claims for a spot kick, while the referee disagreed and awarded a free outside the box.

Spartak were not to be denied, however, and advance to the next roubd of the Leinster Junior Shield.

Form Report
Howard 7 Marron 7 L Stenson 7 Harmon 7 Buckley 6 Love 6 McGowan 6 Gahan 7 Grier 6 Power 6 C Stenson 7
Murphy 6 Doyle 6 Leslie 6

Precious Away Win

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

Esker Celtic 1, Spartak 2

Spartak began the game sluggishly against opponents who seemed sharper. However Kevin Cunningham set the tone with some fine interceptions, tackles and forays along the right and gradually the Sky Blues began to play. Just past the half hour mark, a fine Martin Rolfs pass found the overlapping Luke Stenson, who swept past a defender before finding his brother Cian with a cross. Cian swept the ball home to give Spartak the lead. Esker quickly responded and thudded an effort against the frame of the goal, before Cian Stenson was foiled by a brave intervention by the home custodian.

Spartak came even more into the game in the second period, and forced a succession of frees and corners without capitalising; and it was from a Spartak corner that Esker broke fast and cleverly found an unmarked man at the back post who equalised.

The game was pretty even then for a while as the goal had energised the home side, and once again they struck the woodwork. But as the match drifted into injury time, a move involving Amin Afsar and Daire Doyle allowed that man Cian Stenson to find space in the box and force home the winning score.

Form Report
Craig Howard 7 Kevin Cunningham 8 Luke Stenson 8 Ian Harmon 8 Ronan Buckley 8 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Jason Grehan 7 Martin Rolfs 7 Owen Marron 7 Cian Stenson 8
Subs: Daire Doyle 6 Amin afsar 6

A Point Gained

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

Spartak 0, Wayside Celtic 0.

A resolute defensive display by the Sky Blues kept the visitors at bay as they pressed strongly in the second half. Craig Howard took off several fine saves and the back four made their share of blocks and tackles. Spartak had few chance in the second period, the best one falling to Amin Afsar, but the goalkeeper smothered his attempt.

The first half was a more even contest, with chances more evenly spread, but few on either side on target. A bright period of football saw Spartak, without some regulars, play some excellent passing football.

Ronan Buckley grew into a good defensive foil for Stephen Grier, who also had a solid game. Luke Stenson caught the eye with some timely tackles and tidy passing, while Owen Marron, as usual, was energy itself.

The visitors will wonder what they had to do to beat Craig Howard in goal, and departed somewhat dissatisfied with a point. Spartak, on the other hand, were well pleased with their display.

Form Report
Craig Howard 9 Owen Marron 8 Luke Stenson 8 Steve Grier 8 Ronan Buckley 8 Martin Rolfs 7 Jason Gahan 7 Dave Power 6 Stuart Love 7 Cian Stenson 6
Sub Kevin Cunningham 7 Amin Afsar 6

Missed Opportunity

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


Iveagh Celtic 2, Spartak 2

A bright first half performance saw Spartak lead early on when Cian Stenson finished from Owen Marron’s flicked header.

It seemed further goals were to follow, but two goal line clearances foiled the Sky Blues and a flowing move saw Owen Marron’s cross met by Stuart Love’s volley, but just wide.

Spartak continued to press without penetrating the home defence a second time and Iveagh equalised against the run of play following some loose defensive work by the visitors.

Iveagh’s aerial prowess proved useful again in the second half when they took the lead; a free kick was nodded in, allowed by poor Spartak positioning from the dead ball.

Spartak began to look dangerous in attack again and two good chances fell to Amin Afsar, but he was off target each time.

Cian Stenson converted a penalty to equalise, Spartak continued to try for a winner but to no avail.

The final chance fell to Liam Caffrey, but his effort form 18 yards was wide of target.

Form Report
Craig Howard 7 Ronan Buckley 6 Kevin Cunningham 7 Steve Grier 8 Niall Lennon 7 Stuart Love 7 Pedro Lopes 6 Mick Leslie 6 Neil McGowan 7 Cian Stenson 7 Owen Marron 7
Subs: Amain Afsar 6 Eric Barber 6 Liam Caffrey 6

Honours Even

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


Spartak 2, Loughshinny 2

After the long Covid break it was an unusual July start to the season for the men in Sky Blue, with the heat a factor for both sides

Spartak started brightly, but it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play after defensive hesitation by the home side. Spartak pushed back strongly and Dave Power headed home via the crossbar after a free awarded by a foul on Dave and taken by Neil McGowan. Owen Marron with a one on one chance which was saved, and Dave Power with a solo effort grazing the frame of the goal came close before the break.

The sky Blues pressed early in the second period and Stuart Love headed wide from close range, while Loughshinny missed a glorious chance at the other end, before taking the lead with a cracking shot.

Spartak fought back once more and a slick move between Cian Stenson and Dave Power saw the latter slot home the equaliser.

Dave Power then had a snap shot which struck the post as both teams pressed for a winner, but no joy for either, with just a point apiece for all the effort.

Form Report
Adam Halligan 6 Ronan Buckley 6 Kevin Cunningham 7 Steve Grier 6 Ian Harmon 8 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 7 Owen Marron 6 Keith Kelly 6 Dave Power 8 Cian Stenson 6
Sub: Niall Lennon 6

Sky Blues Leave it Late

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

Spartak 3, Edenderry Town 1

After a dull first half stalemate it came as no surprise that the visitors took the lead on the hour mark; just earlier they had missed a very presentable headed chance.

Spartak had created a couple of chances, none better than a very early one which Cian Stenson fired over.

It was only after going behind that the home side roused themselves and Cian Stenson twice went close before Owen Marron equalised from close range.

Spartak took the lead after a cute cross by Dave Browne was headed home at the second attempt by Cian Stenson, after Steve Grier’s first effort rebounding off the crossbar.

The clincher came as the visitors pushed out in search of an equaliser, when Cian Stenson beat the offside trap to run through from 40 yards out and coolly slot in the third.

Form Report
Dave Byrne 7 Niall Hanratty 6 Dave Browne 7 Steve Grier 6 Ian Harmon 8 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 6 Niall Lennon 8 Dave Power 6 Owen Marron 7 Cian Stenson 8
Subs: Ciaran Brady 6 Kevin Murphy 6

Post Christmas Friendly Win

Filed under: Saturday LSL team, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Parkvale 0, Spartak 2

A calm dry day at Rockbrook saw two second half goals win the game for the Sky Blues in a good run out for both sides.

A brave save by Andy Hughes saw the ball cleared to Dave Browne whose first time pass sent Cian Stenson free. Cian drew a defender before releasing stuart Love aon the left, and his low cross was converted by Gerry McGuiness. A second goal by Cian Stenson clinched the result.

The Spartak defence was ably marshalled by Dave Byrne and Seamus McCahill.

Form Report:
Andy Hughes 7 Aidan Duignan 6 Dave Browne 6 Seamus McCahill 7 Dave Byrne 7 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 5 Conor Canavan 5 Gerry McGuinness 6 Liam Caffrey 5 Cian Stenson 7.