Junior Cup Defeat

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

8.10.17
Spartak 1, Gorey Rangers 3

Spartak came up against an strong Wexford outfit in the second round, and despite a decent performance, exited the cup.

A scoreless first half saw Spartak defend well and attack only sporadically. The Sky Blues best chance fell to Dave Kernan, who headed onto the top of the bar from Stuart Love’s pass.

A deflected goal on the hour mark gave the visitors a breakthrough, and Spartak’s luck was out when Steve Grier’s goalbound shot was blocked. Almost immediately Gorey made it 2-0.

Gorey plundered a third before Spartak reduced arrears when Owen Marron’s pass gave Dave Kernan the chance to fire in, and Spartak then saw a Jeff Gamble header go wide before Mick Leslie had half chance, as the visitors relaxed and Spartak pushed on.

But a deserved win for the vistors.

Form Report
Johnluke Hayes 5 Dave Browne 6 Billy O’Neill 7 Ken Ward 7 Darragh Logue 7 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 6 Dave Kernan 7 Steve Grier 7 Ger Byrne 8 Owen Marron 7
Subs: Jeff Gamble 6 Collie Dunne 6 Mick Leslie 6 Keith Kelly 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

Points Thrown Away

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

1.10.17
Spartak 3, St Anthony’s Kilcoole 4

Two calamitous individual defensive errors, early and late, saw Spartak drop all three points in a game they should have won comfortably.

Spartak went a goal down before gradually imposing themselves on the game, with goals by Steve Grier, Ger Byrne and Grier again to lead 3-1 midway through the second half.

Spartak then failed to stop the cross, and an unmarked Anthony’s player fired in to reduce arrears. A long ball through the middle saw the Spartak defence at sixes and sevens, and the runner rounded Johnluke Hayes to equalise.

The final ignominy saw Spartak concede possesion in the box, recover it, usher the opponent away from goal and the concede a spot kick.

Probably best not to dwell too long on this one.

Form Report
Johnluke Hayes 6 Cian Donohoe 5 Darragh Logue 5 Ian Harmon 5 Keith Kelly 5 Niall Lennon 6 Neil McGowan 6 David Kernan 6 Steve Grier 6 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Walsh 5
Subs: Ken Ward 5 Stuart Love 5 Billy O’Neill 6 Dave Browne 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

Junior Cup Progress

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

22.9.17 Tom
Derry Rovers 0, Spartak 2

A Friday night trip to Edenderry saw Spartak through to the second round, courtesy of an own goal and a Steve Grier clincher.

Played on grass under lights, the surface did not lend itself to early season craft, and Spartak generally had less possession than the locals. However the Sky Blues’ centre back pairing had a near impeccable evening to deny Derry clear cut opportunities.

Johnluke Hayes kept Spartak in the game when he pushed away a piledriver and Spartak’s tenacity was rewarded when a move down the right saw Sean Doyle’s header deflected just over the line to edge Spartak in front at the break.

Derry Rovers huffed and puffed to no great avail and when Jeff Gamble’s persistence saw him escape the attentions of two defenders to break free on the left, his cross was met first time by Steve Grier to seal Spartak’s passage to round 2.

Form Report
Johnluke Hayes 8 Cian Donohoe 6 Darragh Logue 6 Sean Doyle 9 Keith Kelly 9 Niall Lennon 6 Owen Marron 6 Neil McGowan 7 Steve Grier 8 Jeff Gamble 7 Tom O’Driscoll 6
Subs: Stuart Love 6 Niall Hanratty 6

Epic Contest

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

17/9/17
Spartak 6, Transylvania 6

An all action show in Marlay. Even in injury time, the game was still wide open. An infringement by a Spartak defender saw a spot kick awarded, but it was fired over, and then , in the dying seconds, Owen Marron turned in the box to shoot against the butt of the post.

And that was just injury time!

An epic contest in Marlay, well refereed by Jimmy Wynne, and with former Spartak player David Meehan in the dugout for the opposition.

The game looked over after 16 minutes, with the free flowing visitors rampant and three goals to the good. Spartak looked down and out.

Gradually, the Sky Blues regained their mojo. Steve Walsh was fouled, and Steve Grier scored low with the free from the edge of the D. The visitors responded with a free of their own, 1-4. The Spartak produced a flowing move, with Steve Walsh scoring after a slick series of passes by Niall Lennon, Neil McGowan, Steve Grier and Tom O’Driscoll.

Hope flickered in Sky Blue hearts when Steve Grier, Ger Byrne and Jeff Gamble combined to put Dave Kernan in 3-4 at the break.

Transylvania made it 5-3, before the best goal of the game by Spartak. Jeff Gamble latched onto a quick Steve Grier throw, beat his man and fired in a high velocity cross. Dave Kernan, racing goalwards, planted a firm header on it and the ball fairly flew to the net for a wonderful score. Steve Grier then turned and shot from the edge of the box to level the scores, before Neil McGowan forced home a Steve Walsh corner to finally give Spartak the lead.

A deflected free kick saw the visitors equalise, and then cam the drama of added time.

A most memorable game.

Form Report
Johnluke Hayes 6, Dave Kernan 9 Tom O’Driscoll 5 Ian Harmon 6 Keith Kelly 7 Niall Lennon 6 Neil McGowan 6 Jeff Gamble 7 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Grier 9 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Owen Marron 6 Billy O’Neill 6 Cian Donohoe 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

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