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

Rain Soaked Win

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

28.8.17
Lucan United 1, Spartak 2

On a miserably wet Monday night in Lucan, Spartak added three more points.

Conor Canavan was the match winner, his sweet finish moving him ahead of Jason Doyle and just behind Dave Browne in the all time scorers list.

Spartak struggled to get their game going, but nonetheless created chances against a shaky home defence. Darragh Logue shot tamely wide, then Stuart Love saw his shot saved when a firmer effort might have been more effective. Jeff Gamble had a number of chances but did not register on the scoresheet.

The Sky Blues broke the deadlock when Darragh Logue nodded home a Sean Doyle free kick, and looked to be comfortable when Conor Canavan scored.

Cian Stenson overlapped energetically, working his way into goalscoring positions, but his finishing was off target.

However the home side reduced arrears in the gathering gloom with a long range effort.

Spartak then had two great chances to increase the lead, Ciaran Keane shooting powerfully over when he might have taken the ball closer, and finally Jeff Gamble firing over from the penalty spot, after he had been pulled back.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 6 Cian Stenson 8 Darragh Logue 6 Sean Doyle 8 Dave Browne 7 Stuart Love 7 Owen Marron 6 Jeff Gamble 7 Niall Lennon 6 Jimmy Dawson 6 Conor Canavan 6
Subs: Jason Kelly 6 Chris Hogan 6 Ciaran Keane 6

Great Start

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

26/8/17
Spartak 6, Aylesbury 3

Spartak overcame the setback of playing with ten men for the last half hour to overcome Aylesbury.

The Sky Blues asserted themselves early on, racing into a two goal lead. Ger Byrne opened the scoring with a rare header from a pinpoint Sean Doyle free kick. Dave O’Kelly sent Ciaran Keane away to lob the keeper and make it two nil. As Spartak relaxed, tempo fell and slackness allowed the visitors to get back in the game with a deflected goal just before half time.

In the second period the goals continued to flow. David Kernan scored after racing on to Darren Ritchie’s flick .

A harsh sending off for Spartak gave the visitors a new impetus, and they reduced the deficit quickly, beating the offside trap. A fine volleyed goal brought Aylesbury level at 3-3, and then, luckily for the Sky Blues, a rasping shot from the edge of the box was marginally off target.

Substitutions gave Spartak new energy and Jsson Kelly sent Jeff Gamble away to restore the lead. Sean Doyle’s long range free made it 5-3, and Jeff Gamble set up Dave Kernan to administer the coup de gras for a 6-3 victory.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 6 Billy O’Neill 6 Sean Doyle 8 Dave O’Kelly 6 Mick Leslie 7 Conor Callis 6 Dave Kernan 8 Ger Byrne 7 Darren Ritchie 6 Ciaran Keane 6
Subs: Stephen Barr 6 Jason Kelly 7 Jeff Gamble 7 Conor Canavan 6

Appearances and Goals updated on Site

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

All time appearances and goals have been updated on the website, as at end of 2016/17 season.

Notable milestones are in reach for some players. Chris Hogan finished the season on 197 games, while Niall Hanratty’s single game during the season brought him to 195. Fintan Grace reached the 600 games milestone, while Neil McGowan passed the 500 mark and Ger Byrne is approaching 300 games. Mick Leslie is making fast progress on 126 matches, while Ross Kelly is taking the scenic route, on 62 games so far.

On the goals front, the race to 100 goals sees Jeff Gamble on 89, closing fast on Steve Walsh who has 92 goals, just behind Ger Byrne on 96.

To date 11 players have scored 100 or more goals for the club – here’s the list:

375 Tony Little
250 Barry Crowe
183 Leo Gartlan
177 David Keegan
173 Neil McGowan
150 Kevin O’Connell
147 Martin McGorian
127 Dave Pender
125 Gerry Doran
116 Jimmy Galloway
101 Martin Morrison

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.