Mudlark in Marlay ends all square

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

Spartak 1, Sallynoggin 1

Overnight and early morning rain made the pitch very heavy for this contest between two old rivals.

Sallynoggin started much the better side and were somewhat unfortunate to go in at the interval without scoring, having had much the better of the play. The assured presence of Greg Byrne in the Spartak goal, who dealt capably with shots and crosses, set the tone for a decent defensive display, and clear chances were few and far between in the first half for either side. Indeed the Sky Blues had very few first half opportunities in a lacklustre half. Ger Byrne raced onto a Jeff Gamble flick, but his touch was too heavy and the ball ran on to the keeper. When the visiting custodian kicked out weakly, Neil McGowan sent Jeff Gamble through but he shot early and over. Spartak’ best first half move saw Steve Grier, Jeff Gamble and Owen Marron combine to set up Ger Byrne, but his effort was blocked.

Spartak began the second half as though they meant business, and Stuart Love , twice, and Neil McGowan went close. Sallynoggin then missed a big chance when Greg Byrne parried a shot, but on 56 minutes the visitors went ahead in controversial circumstances. A push on a Spartak defender saw a forward get free, and his cross was tapped in by an unmarked colleague.
Almost immediately Niall Lennon and Owen Marron carved out a clear chance for Ger Byrne, but he pulled the ball just wide. Tom O’Driscoll then had a chance with a ball that rebounded quickly to him twelve yards out, but he fired over.

Ger Byrne, through again, took a touch too many before trying to round the keeper, who fouled him as the ball ran wide. Much to Ger’s chagrin , he was booked for diving. In a big scramble the ball then bounced on top of the bar back into play before being cleared.

Sallynoggin were denied in a rare breakaway by the advancing Greg Byrne, before a penalty was awarded for a foul on Steve Grier. There was a considerable delay as the visitors protested long and loud, and Steve Grier’s penalty was weak and easily gathered by the keeper.

With time running out, Darragh Logue, deployed as an emergency striker, forced the ball over the line from close range to give Spartak a share of the points.

The Sky Blues had enough chances to win, but had to battle hard to get something from the game.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Dave Kernan 6 Billy O’Neill 6 Steve Grier 6 Darragh Logue 7 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 6 Jeff Gamble 5 Niall Lennon 6 Ger Byrne 5 Owen Marron 6
Subs: Seamus McCahill 6 Tom O’Driscoll 6 Aodhan McCahill 6

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