By Jay Mwamba
St. Barnabas missed out on an opportunity to take the lead in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League First Division when they crashed 3-1 to Fairfield/Westchester United in an early top-of-the-table clash last Sunday.
The Saints’ defeat, at Woodlands High School in White Plains, highlighted what was a disastrous day for the league’s Irish contingent. Six of the seven teams in the CSL were beaten.
St. Barnabas, who went into the match behind leaders Fairfield (9 points) on goal difference, were destroyed by hat-trick hero David Pabon.
The 23-year-old forward struck in the 20th, 30th and 58th minutes. Simon Cahill (55th) scored for the Saints.
"We should have got at least a point," said St. Barnabas spokesman Aidan Dennis. "They got a cracker of a first goal, and the second was [after] an absolute nightmare of a mistake by our defense."
Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter
"If both sides had scored their chances, it would have been 7-7," said Fairfield’s Newscastle-born Gary Megennis, who named his goalie, Brian Stroh, as Man of the Match for thwarting the St. Barnabas forwards.
Tadge Donegan connected for the Saints’ reserve in a 4-1 loss.
League Cup holders Shamrock found that playing with nine men and even less match fitness against New York Athletic Club can be a tall order, in a 3-0 defeat at Randalls Island.
NYAC’s Matt Roberti (30th), Dominic Hardy (70th) and Gregg Smalling (80th) struck against a Shamrock side making its first appearance in the league this season after two earlier postponements.
"Their lack of match fitness was pretty obvious," said NYAC boss Ronan Downs.
"Three-zero was not a fair representation of the game," Shamrock’s Eugene Smyth observed. "We felt that we were in the game but had two players sent-off for dissent."
Brendan Reilly scored in the Shamrock reserve’s 3-1 loss.
Shamrock’s third team, campaigning in the newly formatted Metro Division I, were the only Irish winners, shutting out New York Anatolia 2-0 at Randalls Island on strikes by Declan Rourke and Naill Carolan.
Astoria Gaels had their two-game winning streak in the Metro Division II snapped by newcomers Brooklyn Thunder at Brooklyn’s Red Hook ground. Thunder won 4-0.
"The last 15 minutes killed us. We were only 1-0 down at halftime. The [final] result doesn’t justify the game," Gaels coach Jimmy Ralph said.
At Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, Ray Barrett’s 25th-minute penalty was the only bright spot for Lansdowne Bhoys’ in their 3-1 loss to another new member of the CSL, Roosevelt International.
Seamus O’Neill netted a consolation goal for Fiona’s FC (formerly Solas) in their 4-1 trouncing by Sunnyside, as the weekend hex extended to the Irish-connected club. Onder Koksol and Cen Sahin both had a brace for Sunnyside at Randalls Island.
Nikolas Paraskevepoulos (30th), Lefteris Michaelides (60th) and Englishman Ben Hickey (83rd) powered Pancyprian Freedoms to a 3-0 romp over Polonia S.C. in a First Division match at St. John’s University.
New York Albanians were the other big winners at the weekend. They routed Banatul 5-1 in the Bronx, on goals by Tony Camaj (two), George Gjokaj, Naum Kove, and Ronald Demo. The reserves tied 3-3.
Manhattan Kickers ended Guyana Juniors unbeaten run in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League with a 3-1 victory in a tense affair at Canarsie Beach.
Ex-New York Croatia ace Rich Webb was the Kickers star yet again, with a killer brace (5th, 72nd), sandwiched between Norman Pile’s 20th minute effort.
Undefeated since they joined the league in the Third Division last year, Guyana could only manager a late face-saver from the penalty spot.
"I’m really excited," said Kickers’ player-coach Mike Fitzgerald, who was on his way to keeping a clean sheet before Guyana’s 90th minute spot kick. "We played our game and dictated the tempo of the match. I’m very happy with where we are."
Kickers are now 3-0 and lead the East (9). Owen Idehen struck again for the Kickers’ reserves in a 1-1 tie.
Ron Baskins (three), Will Sykes, Yuri Kyrm and Stavros Zomopoulos were among the scorers for Barnstonworth Rovers in their 7-0 demolition of Nag’s Head United at Roosevelt Island. Rovers’ second team prevailed 3-0.
Speedy FC Japan won their second straight, courtesy of a 1-0 decision over S.C. Eintracht at Randalls. Shin Furutate (80th) got the match-winner. Eintracht’s reserves lost 2-0.
Also in the East, veteran Bernard Pierre’s 65th penalty wasn’t enough to avert a 3-1 Ukrainian S.C. defeat at the hands of New York Wanderers.
In-form Central Park Rangers maintained their one hundred percent record with a 3-0 thumping of BW Poughkeepsie at Riverside Park on the West Side. Marceo Conclaves, Ray Licata and Simon Knightbridge connected. Rangers’ reserves won 1-0.
Early promotion favorites Ridgeway knocked off Clarkstown 3-1 at Grover Cleveland High School in Maspeth. Robert Cretulestu (18th, 70th) and Tase Iorgoveanu (55th penalty) were on target. The reserves drew 2-2.
Ridgeway’s archrivals, Ripensia-Romania, were also in good form, dispatching New York Dinamo 3-1 in the Bronx. Olimpiu Roman (7th, 78th penalty) and Adrian Ionete (24th) did the damage.
Danny Kelegian (20th) and Vahe Boyajian (35th) earned Homenetmen their first point of the season in a 2-all tie with Bergen Kickers at the Overpeck County Park. Homenetmen’s second team won 4-2.
George Gonzales (15th), Chris Tsherne (60th), Daniel Gonzales (75th) and Roger Sarmuksins (80th) led BW Gottschee past Chile FC, 4-0 at the Julian Curtis Field. Other Metro Div. I winners were Jersey City, 2-0 over Barnstonworth, and Krimean Turkish, 3-0 over Brooklyn Stars.
Player-coach Tim Serpionov led United Bulgaria (previously Concord S.C.) to a 4-1 romp over CD Iberia with two goals. Koko Veltshev and Svetoslav Komdordkiv were the other scorers.
Guyana Veterans "A" put nine goals past Fairfield/Westchester without reply in an Over-30 tussle at Canarsie Beach. Bonnie Burton got the requisite hat trick, while Horace Chase (two), Junior Walker, David Gill and Lee accounting for the other goals.
Guyana Veterans "B" edged Eintracht 2-1 with Junior Griffith bagging both goals.
And at Randalls Island, BW Gottschee drew 1-all with Scala Brasil. George Lesmes smashed in his own rebound from a header that came off the crossbar (60th), but Brasil tied it up 10 minutes later with a disputed penalty after the ball had struck Pablo Perez’ hand in the box.
"It was not an unfair score (result) by any means," remarked Gottschee’s Frank Lackner.