Win to Nil

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

25.3.18
Sallynoggin Pearse 0, Spartak 1

With a number of regulars missing through injury, Spartak travelled to Rochestown Avenue to contest this relegation battle on the undulating slopes of Pearse Park. Three players had succumbed to injuries at one unfortunate training session, and so Owen Marron, Niall Lennon and Neil McGowan were unable to play, although Niall, the ever reliable club man, togged out. Messrs Grier and Logue were away in exotic climes, while Billy O’Neill had succumbed to a deadly tummy bug. John Luke Hayes, a goalkeeper, was pressed into action on the wing, while Shane McInerney made a very effective first appearance of an injury ravaged season.

Despite these apparent handicaps, the Sky Blues opened brightly, making good use of the ball through Steve Walsh and Seamus McCahill, while Stuart Love gave an action man impression in centre mid.

A keeper error saw Jeff Gamble get an early opportunity, but he fired wide as the keeper tried to regain his position. Stuart Love sent Ger Byrne away, and his cross from the back line beat the keeper, but just eluded Jeff Gamble as he tussled with a defender. Stuart Love headed wide from the resulting corner.

Just on half time , it seemed Spartak had taken the lead. A lung bursting run down the right saw Jeff Gamble break clear, and, as the keeper advance, he squared the ball to the unmarked Ger Byrne, who slotted in. Astonishingly, the ref gave offside!

Sallynoggin, despite having less of the play, had a couple of chances of their own but were wide on two promising occasions.

Right at the start of the second period it seemed the home side must go ahead. The number 17 intercepted a goal kick, rounded Kevin Loftus, and then inexplicably blazed the ball hurriedly over the empty goal. An incredible miss.

A tussle on the half way line saw Ger Byrne yellow carded, with the opposing number 4 receiving a red for a retaliatory kick.

Spartak were again denied when Dave Kernan’s header from Steve Walsh’s corner was pulled back from over the line by the keeper, but then the breakthrough came midway through the half. A Dave Browne long throw caused a scramble in the goalmouth, Dave Kernan retrieved the ball ahead of the keeper, and Ger Byrne drove in the loose ball.

Sallynoggin, although a man short, played some decent stuff; Kevin Loftus made a good save, and a number of crosses drifted dangerously across the box. In general the Spartak defence held firm, but a long misplaced back pass by Tom O’Driscoll saw a big chance for the home side, but the effort was lobbed too high.

A fine move saw Ger Byrne and Steve Walsh combine to feed Jeff Gamble, who shot weakly instead of sending the unmarked Dave Kernan in on goal.
As injury time loomed, a poor Kevin Loftus kick caused a degree of panic and last ditch defending, before the ref blew a welcome final whistle.

Form Report
Kevin Loftus 7 Dave Kernan 7 Steve Walsh 7 Seamus McCahill 8 Dave Browne 7 Shane McInerney 7 Stuart Love 8 Tom O’Driscoll 7 Jeff Gamble 7 Ger Byrne 8 JohnLuke Hayes 6
Sub: Ian Harmon 7

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