Byrne Penalty Save Inspires Sky Blues

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

14.4.18
Enniskerry 3, Spartak 5

On a windy Astro in Enniskerry, Spartak claimed a victory, largely due to a wonderful early second half penalty save by Greg Byrne to prevent the hosts taking the lead.

Driven by a central midfield partnership of Seamus McCahill and Stuart Love, Spartak created plenty of opportunities in the first period. Darren Ritchie was around the keeper, but was robbed of possession by the cover. Darren and Ger Byrne combined to give Cian Stenson a chance, but the keeper pushed his indecisive effort on to a post. Mick Leslie beat the keeper with a high flick, but could not bring the ball down to finish. A neat one two saw Stephen Barr score after combining with Darren Ritchie.

Suddenly the hosts came alive, as Spartak dozed at a throw in, and the forward had plenty of space to fire home. A long range effort then gave Enniskerry the lead.

Stuart Love equalised early in teh second half as Spartak came out stronger, but then an undisputed handball from Chris Hogan gave the hosts the chance from the spot. Greg dived low to his right to thwart the taker, and also blocked the follow up.

Gradually the Sky Blues took command and Seamus McCahill scored form distance, before Stuart Love added an acrobatic second and Ciaran Keane the scored a trademark long range lob. The home side got a late consolation to make it 5-3.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 9 Chris Hogan 6 Leo Behan 8 Stephen Barr 7 Kevin Murphy 6 Stuart Love 8 Seamus McCahill 8 Cian Stenson 6 Mick Leslie 6 Darren Ritchie 6 Ger Byrne
Sbs: Ciaran Keane 6 Gary Murphy 6

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

Worst of the Season

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

24.3.18
Castleknock Celtic 6, Spartak 0

Despite a few absentees, Spartak, on paper at least, had a decent line up, against opponents who had succumbed in the reverse fixture in Marlay.

Unfortunately, the game was not played on paper, but on the dry and bumpy pitch at Porterstown Park.

Suffice to say the hosts were lively, energetic and accurate in their passing; qualities which were not exhibited by the Sky Blues on the day.

Form Report – a collective 4. Stinker.

Greg Byrne Cian Stenson Niall Hanratty Stephen Barr Ian Harmon Jason Kelly Conor Callis Mick Leslie Mikey Ryan Kev Nolan Ciaran Keane .
Subs: Conor Canavan Ross Kelly Alex Ionescu

AGM

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

19.3.18

The Annual General Meeting will take place in the Eden House on Tuesday 27th March at 9.15pm. Those who have paid annual membership may attend.

Cup Disappointment

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

25/2/18
Spartak 1, Cabinteely 2

The Sky Blues exited the cup in a tight contest in Marlay.

Ger Byrne gave the Sky Blues the lead on the quarter hour mark with a loveley finish after running on to Steve Walsh’s incisive through ball.
A determined visiting side pushed Spartak back and equalised midway through the half with a firm shot, struck from the edge of the box as a headed clearance fell to the unattended forward.

Kevin Loftus made a few sharp stops as Cabinteely pressed their advantage, but there was no further scoring in the first half.

An early second half goal proved to be the winner for Cabinteely. Dave Kernan was dispossessed and a quick through ball saw the visiting number 10 run clear through the middle and finish. There may have been a suspicion of offside but the goal stood.

Spartak huffed and puffed but lacked the guile to create an equaliser and struggled to match the visitors in midfield. Seamus McCahill headed just over and Billy O’Neill fired over with an angled effort, while Cabinteeley struck the woodwork at the other end.

Form Report
Kevin Loftus 7 Dave Browne 6 Billy O’Neill 6 Seamus McCahill 6 Darragh Logue 6 Stuart Love 6 Niall Lennon 5 Steve Grier 5 Dave Kernan 6 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Walsh 5.
Subs: Owen Marron 5, Tom O’Driscoll 5 Aodhan McCahill 5 Ian Harmon 5.

Win Lifts Spartak to Fourth Place

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

24.2.18
Walkinstown 1, Spartak 2

Despite the absence of a number of key players, the Sky Blues produced a fine performance to garner three points and move to the edge of the promotion race.

Spartak began well and vreated several clear chances before going ahead just before half time. Jason Kelly took adavantage of a keeper miskick but fired wide of the empty goal, Then fine move between Danny Loughran and Gerry McGuinness set up the unmarked Ciaran Keane seven yards out, but he fired over. An Owen McCormack free caused havoc in the home penalty box, but Kevin Murphy, from no more than a couple of yards saw his effort blocked for a corner.

Finally Danny Loughran ran on to a deflected long ball to round the keeper and make it 1-0.

That’s not to say the home side were without a few efforts, and Spartak were grateful to Greg Byrne for a couple of sharp saves.

The home side came out in very determined fashion for the second half and equalised after a couple of minutes from close range. Spartak were put under the cosh and had to defend manfully to repel the home side’s attacks. Breakouts were rare and on one occasion Conor Callis had a good run, beat his man , but his cross let him down.

With 15 minutes to go, Conor Callis had a good run, beat his man again; this time he was tripped – penalty. Owen McCormack despatched the kick efficiently.

Then came the real siege. Walkinstown had a big miss, wide from a good position. Then they struck the post, and finally, in stoppage time, there were incredible goal line clearances from Chris Hogan and Sean Doyle.

A gritty win.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 8 Chris Hogan 8 Leo Behan 8 Owen McCormack 8 Kevin Murphy 8 Jason Kelly 7 Conor Callis 7 Mick Leslie 7 Gerry McGuinness 8 Ciaran Keane 7 Danny Loughran 7
Sub: Sean Doyle 7

Mission Impossible

Filed under: Saturday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Rush 4, Spartak 0

It seems this game was not destined to go well for the Sky Blues.

Numerous cry offs and no shows made for a struggle to field a side, notwithstanding that only 5 points separated the sides before the game. Additionally, Spartak had a game in hand on second placed Rush, who had succumbed to a 3-1 defeat in Marlay earlier in the season.

Luckily, club stalwarts Stuart Love, Dave Browne and Tom O’Driscoll travelled to fill some of the gaps.

Worse was to follow. The referee awarded the first two ludicrously offside goals, while missing a really bad tackle on Stephen Barr. The offside goals were not of the usual few disputed marginal yards, in each case the home forward, assuming the whistle would blow, had to be urged to carry on by his quicker thinking team mates.

For the second goal, the Rush player was not within 30 yards of a Spartak defender, but allowed to carry on and score. Everyone present assumed the ref was waiting for the player to touch the ball before whistling.

Naturally, goals change games, and finding themselves unjustly two down early in the second period, anxiety and bad decision making by Spartak compounded the situation. Sean Doyle missed a couple of opportunities to claw Spartak back into the game, Mick Leslie forced the keeper into a good save, but, despite the efforts of all the home side took advantage of errors to add two legitimate goals, albeit the result of sloppy defending.

The Sky Blues, to their credit, stuck gamely to the impossible task, driven on by Leo Behan in midfield and the energy of Sean Doyle and the indefatigable Mick Leslie, but could not do much against such impossible odds.

The refereeing standards in the LSL have really plummeted.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 5 Dave Browne 6 Sean Doyle 7 Stephen Barr 6 Stuart Love 6 Andre Gabriel 5 Mick Leslie 6 Leo Behan 7 Tom O’Driscoll 5 Kevin Murphy 5
Sub: Kevin Loftus 5

Mudlark in Marlay ends all square

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

4.2.18
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

Tough Opener

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

5.1.18
Balbriggan 3, Spartak 0

A long Friday night trek to a dismal windy, cold and wet astro in Balbriggan was the setting for Spartak’s opening game of 2018, the first after the Christmas break.

After a decent first half showing, the Sky Blues faded badly in the second period, and were grateful for some decent stops by Dan Galvin.

The best chances fell to Ger Byrne in the opening half, when put through by Steve Walsh, but Ger opted for power over precision and fired over the crossbar. Tom O’Driscoll gave Ger another opportunity but the ball was screwed wide, while Steve Grier drew a good save from the home stopper.

The second period saw the home side add two deserved goals, while for Spartak it was a damage limitation exercise.

Form Report
Dan Galvin 8 Dave Kernan 6 Billy O’Neill 5 Steve Grier 5 Darragh Logue 5 Tom O’Driscoll 5 Neil McGowan 5 Mick Leslie 5 Niall Lennon 5 Ger Byrne 5 Steve Walsh 5
Subs: Andre Gabriel 5 Cian Donohoe 5

Spartak Finish Year in Style

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

9.12.17
Spartak 10, Ashbourne 0

The Sky Blues fired a ten goal salvo against a hapless Ashbourne side that was hampered by an early red card, and suffered another dismissal in the second half.

Spartak were not in sympathetic mood, and Mick Leslie helped himself to a five goal haul to top the club scoring charts. Andre Gabriel (2), Cian Stenson, Jason Kelly and Stuart Love got the other scores.

Early on, Greg Byrne saved well to keep the visitors at bay, but after the dismissal had little to do. Steve Grier and Stuart Love combined to open the floodgates, and the goals flowed in quick succession.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 7 Cian Stenson 7 Steve Grier 8 Dave Browne 7 Stuart Love 8 Jason Kelly 8 Niall Hade 8 Dave Berry 8 Mick Leslie 9 Andre Gabriel 7
Subs: Seamus McCahill 6 Ciaran Keane 5 Danny Loughran 6