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

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

Bray Woes

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

12.2.17
Bray 3, Spartak 2

A decent game in sticky conditions in Bray saw Spartak finish with nine men. The referee controlled the game in general, but erred on some major decisions .

Bray were awarded a penalty when the centre forward slipped in the mud.

A free kick was awarded against stand in keeper Karl McCullagh for heading the ball outside the box. In this case, the ref clearly thought it was a handball, with a possible sanction. The free was eventually taken but no card shown, as he must have realised the error. In the confusion, one Sky Blue player was dismissed for giving the ref the benefit of his opinion on the incident. The Sky Blues were reduced to ten for a retaliatory trip (when the instigator went unpunished).

In between all this, there was quite a good game of football, with both sides exchanging early goals. Steve Walsh set up Neil McGowan for the equaliser after defensive lapses had allowed Bray to score first. Bray added a second on the half hour, with the penalty awarded just a minute later. 1-3.

Undaunted, Spartak attacked repeatedly in the second period and created plenty of opportunities. Steve Grier sent Ger Byrne through but his shot was hasty and wide. Neil McGowan fired just over, before Ger Byrne found himself clear again, but his effort was saved. Niall Lennon cracked a long range effort off the post.

Finally Spartak got a late consolation when Steve Grier converted Steve Walsh’s cross.

Form Report
Karl McCullagh 4 Cian Donohoe 5 Dave Browne 4 Steve Grier 7 Darragh Logue 7 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Mick Young 5 Niall Lennon 6 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Ian Harmon 6 Geoff Abraham 6

Maurice Timmins – an appreciation

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

Maurice Timmins, who passed away suddenly on 22nd February, was closely associated with Spartak in the ’80s and ’90s.

While he played for Spartak occasionally, Maurice’s main role was as physical trainer. He led his charges on lengthy runs around the Churchtown and Rathfarnham areas on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The toughness of those runs were recalled recently by some former players, who winced at the memory!

It was also noticeable how many players developed sudden hamstring strains and had to sit out the runs, only to miraculously recover to full fitness for the football at the end…they got little sympathy from Maurice!

Maurice gradually drifted away from Spartak as he concentrated on his real love, marathon running, and completed over 200 marathons, some in far off places.

Maurice is fondly remembered as a cheerful and dedicated individual, and his contribution to Spartak was a valuable one.

May he Rest in Peace.

Sky Blues advance in Polikoff after shoot out

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

15.1.17
Transport 2, Spartak 2 (Spartak win 5-3 on pens)

Spartak advanced in an incident packed game at Rutland Avenue, in a tough encounter, which would have needed a firmer referee. Greg Byrne dislocated his shoulder, while Steve Walsh suffered a bloody nose. Geoff Gamble also came in for some rough treatment. A further factor, which both teams complained to the ref about, was that the match footballs were over inflated which meant the ball was like a concrete block!

The Sky Blues opened at a decent pace, but squandered several good opportunities early on. Geoff Gamble shot straight at the keeper, Ger Byrne missed a couple of chances, Steve Walsh stopped allowing the goalkeeper recover after missing the ball. Failure to put away these early chances might have been costly.

Transport had a couple of chances themselves as the half progressed.

The pitch, which started out in good shape, gradually deteriorated and the second half was more of a slog. Greg Byrne made a double save, before, on 58 minutes, Ger Byrne’s run set up Steve Walsh to fire home from the edge of the box.

However Spartak suffered a triple blow as Transport’s effort was deemed to have crossed the line; worse, Greg Byrne was injured in the melee and Steve Walsh was off the pitch receiving treatment, and unable to return. All three substitutes would play a key role before the end.

The opening minutes of extra time saw Transport miss a great chance by blazing over, while at the other end Ger Byrne rounded the keeper, was fouled, but no whistle.

A few minutes into the second period Transport took the lead. Hesitation in the Spartak rearguard allowed the forward to turn and shoot low to the corner.

Geoff Gamble then rolled one past the keeper, and the ball was cleared from behind the line, but the ref waved play on. As Spartak threw everything into frenzied attack, it was Dave Kernan who pounced on a half clearance to fire in with the last kick of the match. The ref did not even bother to allow a restart.

Spartak were clinical in their penalties, with Neil McGowan, Geoff Gamble, Dave Browne, Cormac O’Connor all scoring before stand in keeper Mick Greene saved Transport’s fifth kick, and that man Dave Kernan completed he rescue act with his spot kick.

A poor attitude to start with almost cost the game, but Spartak battled against the odds in the end.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Dave Kernan 8 Cian Donohoe 7 Niall Lennon 6 Karl McCullagh 7 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 6 Geoff Gamble 6 Owen Marron 6 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Dave Brown 6 Mick Greene 7 Cormac O’Connor 6

Spirited Fightback Too Late

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

6.1.16

Balbriggan 4, Spartak 2

An unusual time for the first post Christmas fixture saw Spartak play on the Balbriggan astro with a Friday night kick off.

Spartak clearly showed signs of rustiness and found themselves 3-0 down at half time. Hesitancy by Cian Donohoe saw him caught in possession to concede the free kick, which was scored – Dan Galvin touching the ball onto the woodwork only to have it rebound against the keeper and in. Steve Grier’s missed tackle allowed a cross for the second, which Dave Kernan unwittingly turned into his own net.

Two own goals, and a third from play ( with a suspicion of offside) quickly followed before Spartak regained some form of equilibrium.

Geoff Gamble had a couple of half chances, before Steve Grier blazed over after the home keeper fumbled a ball from a corner kick.

Spartak began the second period in much brighter fashion, containing the home team and creating a good number of chances. From Steve Walsh’s corner, Steve Grier’s header was deflected in by a defender; game on, Steve Grier then fired a free kick just over and a longer range effort by Neil McGowan skimmed the crossbar.

Steve Grier then had a shot palmed out by the keeper, but Geoff Gamble (given offside) struck the bar with the goal open. Spartak pummeled the home defence which held out in the face of relentless pressure.

With ten to go, Dan Galvin allowed a pass to slip under his foot to permit the local striker an easy tap in. Neil McGowan’s late goal was a consolation only.

Form Report
Dan Galvin 7 Dave Kernan 8 Cian Donohoe 5 Steve Grier 7 Darragh Logue 7 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Geoff Gamble 5 Owen Marron 7 Ger Byrne 5 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Karl McCullagh 7 Niall Lennon 6 Dave Haczynskyj 6 Sean Molloy 6

Sky Blues continue good run

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

4.12.16
Palmerstown 1, Spartak 5

A blistering opening by the Sky Blues laid the foundation for this victory. Two goals, well taken by Ger Byrne, in the first 15 minutes followed sweeping moves. Dave Kernan and Geoff Gamble did the spadework for the first, while Neil McGowan, Steve Grier, Stuart Love and Geoff Gamble all combined to allow Ger to finish sweetly for number two. Ger then began to receive some unwanted attention, which eventually led to his early departure, which the referee ignored.

Errors by Steve Grier and Aodhan McCahill gave the home side a chance, but Jason Northey saved the on-on-one. On the half hour Steve Grier nodded in Neil McGowan’s corner to make it 3-0, but a goalkeeping error allowed Palmerstown to reduce arrears.

Geoff Gamble headed home Mick Leslie’s corner and then scored from the spot after he was taken down following Cian Donohoe’s through ball.

A fine attacking display.

Form Report
Jason Northey 5 Dave Kernan 7 Cian Donohoe 6 Steve Grier 7 Aodhan McCahill 7 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Kevin O’Toole 6 Geoff Gamble 8 Ger Byrne 8 Mick Leslie 7
Subs: Cormac O’Connor 6 Ken Buckley 6 Karl McCullagh 6

Seven Up

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

27.11.16
Spartak 7 Dalkey Utd 2

A comprehensive win by the Sky Blues over a youthful Dalkey side.

Spartak took a two goal half time lead, Geoff Gamble turning in Owen Marron’s deflected cross, while Stuart Love’s header made it two.

Geoff Gamble made it three from the spot early second half, before Dalkey converted a spot kick themselves. It was now end to end stuff, but Spartak capitalised first, Steve Walsh finishing a move between himself and Geoff Gamble. Ger Byrne got in on the act, before Dalkey again scored. Owen Marron fired hme with a long range effort before Geoff Gamble completed his hattrick near the end.

Form Report
Dan Galvin 7 Dave Kernan 7 Cian Donohoe 6 Dave Browne 7 Steve Grier 7 Stuart Love 7 Niall Lennon 6 Owen Marron 8 Geoff Gamble 8 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Neil McGowan 8 Darragh Logue 7 Cormac O’Connor 6