Shootout Success

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

Clara Town 3, Spartak 3 (Spartak win 4-1 on pens)

Spartak got a tough draw in the Leinster Shield with a long trip to deepest Offaly.

The weather was rather inclement, with driving rain and a strong breeze making conditions difficult for both sides.

Following two opening league defeats, the outlook looked bleak again as the Sky Blues went two down after just 15 minutes; hesitation in dealing with a long ball led to an easy opener for the home side, and then a free kick conceded within striking distance saw a fine, albeit wind assisted, shot adding number two.

Indeed Spartak remained fairly sleepy, and the home side missed a gilt edged opportunity at the back post which might have finished the game as a contest.

A fine Lennon pass freed Love on the left; he pulled an inviting ball back for Gahan, who shot wide; a repeat of the same move saw Spartak reduce arrears before the break, Gahan drilling home with the aid of a deflection.

The second period saw a different Spartak. Within ten minutes they had gone ahead. When Leslie was impeded, a penalty converted by Harmon levelled things up. Then a McGowan free saw a defender, under pressure from Love, have the misfortune to find his own net. 3.2

The heavy conditions and lack of subs told on Spartak as the home side flooded the pitch with 5 fresh men and finally Clara equalised when a seemingly harmless cross was handled. Penalty. 3-3.

Extra time it was. Spartak had a fine chance when Grier played Marron down the line, his cross slowed in the muddy conditions which allowed the home defender to foil Love from just a few yards out.

So to penalties. Harmon, McGowan, and Grier all netted; for the home side there was misfortune with just one of three scored, one off target and Howard saving one. So Gahan added the fourth to ensure that the long drive home was a happy one.

Form Report
Howard 7 Marron 7 Hogan 5 Grier 7 Harmon 7 Love 7 McGowan 7 Gahan 6 Doyle 6 Lennon 7 Leslie 6 Gaffney 5

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