By Jay Mwamba
New signing Stephen Cassidy sent Lansdowne A.C. floating on cloud nine in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League Second Division last Sunday with a four-goal outburst in the Bronx side’s 5-2 triumph over the previously undefeated Ripensia-Romania at Van Cortlandt Park.
The result capped a memorable week for the fourth placed Lansdowne (2-2-3, 9) during which they beat two of the division’s pacesetters. For Ripensia (12 points), the defeat ended their long stint at the top in the West.
"It’s a new team, with new players and they’re really coming together," said Lansdowne’s assistant coach Paul Doherty.
Cassidy, one of the new lads, provided the spark Lansdowne had been missing since moving up from the Third Division, reeling off a quick hat trick (5th, 15th, 23rd), before icing a brilliant afternoon with a thunderous header in the 75th minute.
"That’s the one that creamed it," said Doherty. "It was a cracker of a header. The goal of the season."
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Bobby Valentine, one of the marksmen in the club’s first big win seven days earlier, 2-0 over Concord S.C., accounted for Lansdowne’s other goal.
Ripensia boss Anghel Popa, whose side staged a mini revival after the interval, scoring through Robert Nicole (62nd) and Michael Godi (70th pen.), said the officiating left much to be desired.
In the reserve fixture, Lansdowne’s Paul Tuffy and Eamon McEvoy stood out in a 2-0 loss.
It was a good weekend for the CSL’s Irish contingent. Both St. Barnabas and Shamrock S.C. picked up vital wins in the First Division while Shamrock’s Third Division registered their sixth victory in seven starts to knock Central Park Rangers out of first place.
Larry Toner latched onto a long ball played over the New York Hungaria defense to chalk up a 1-0 win for St. Barnabas in Woodbridge, N.J.
St. Barnabas (2-2-1, 7) climbed one rung on the table into seventh position, while Hungaria (14) lost the First Division leadership to New York Albanians who thrashed Croatia 6-0.
"We could have scored more. It was a good game," said Saints boss Aidan Dennis.
His reserves did score more, pasting the Hungaria bench 3-0 on goals by Tom Whitty (two) and Mark McGuire.
Robbie Walsh (80th) and Ray Elesseser (87th) struck late as Shamrock continued its revival with a 2-0 decision over Banatul S.C. at Grover Cleveland High School in Queens.
"It’s the first time the lads have played like last season," observed coach Dermot Clarke, who was buoyed by the return of ace striker Tim Cummins from college. Shamrock (3-4-1, 10) inched into fifth position on the standings, five points off the pace.
But their reserves lost 4-3 after leading 2-0. Goals by Niall Swan and John Walsh (two) couldn’t halt Banatul, who scored twice in the last five minutes.
Mike Coleman swerved the ball into the net straight from a corner to give Shamrock a 1-0 victory over Third Division stragglers Krimean Turkish at Red Hook. Shamrock (18) claimed the Third Division leadership on goal difference with the win.
Central Park slipped into second position after crashing 5-0 to Guyana Juniors. Tallo Hudson (two), Lloyd Lashley, Kester Darlington and Steve Bishop connected for Guyana.
It was Manhattan Kickers’ turn to ride roughshod over hapless Astoria Gaels in the Second Division. Kickers triumphed 7-1 at Randalls Island courtesy of Joe Whiteman (35th, 40th, 43rd), Norman Pile (60th, 75th), Scott Conti (65th) and Ken Harrell (85th).
"We really dominated it. They weren’t into it," noted Kickers’ player-coach Mike Fitzgerald.
The Gaels’ reserves went down 5-1.
Arben Mrijaj (5th, 10th), Ronald "Ronaldo" Dambo (30th, 44th) and Angelo (60th, 80th) made short work of undermanned Croatia to lift Albanians (15) into first place in the First Division.
Croatia, who played with nine men, forfeited the reserve game.
Defending champs New York Athletic Club had John McCallion (80th) to thank for his equalizer in a 1-all tie with third-placed New York Dinamo at Travers Island. Dinamo had led from the 10 minute through Tony Camaj.
"We had a few good chances in the first half but couldn’t put them away," said NYAC coach Ronan Downs. NYAC were awarded the reserve fixture.
In West Beach, Connecticut, Mirek Sielczak’s hat trick (5th, 10th, 75th) secured a point for Polonia S.C. from a 3-3 tie with Fairfield/Westchester United. Paul Edwards and Matt Kelly had two of Fairfield’s goals.
The Fairfield reserves won 1-0.
Koha needed only three minutes to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory over Concord S.C. in Bayside. The latter led 1-0 through Ilya Vermolenko (55th), but Fatos Selimi (87th) and Nikolai Gjokaj turned it around for Koha.
The Queens side (13) cashed in on Ripensia’s upset loss to Lansdowne to
grab the lead in Division Two (West).
CD Iberia (16) dispatched winless Ukrainian S.C. 3-0 at Randalls Island to maintain a four-point edge over New York Wanderers in the East.
Ruben Flores (5th, 77th) and Juan Carlos Fontenada (32nd) were on target for Iberia, whose reserves prevailed 2-1.
Wanderers held off Barnstonworth Rovers 3-2 at McCarran Park thanks to Luke Bockelmann’s hat-trick. "We were up 3-0 and took easy a bit," said Wanderers boss Rich Hyder. Rovers took the reserve meeting 3-0.
Denis Skumpia led B.W. Poughkeepsie to an emphatic 4-0 triumph over Bergen Kickers in his coaching debut. Roger Vargas (15th), Brian Kennedy (23rd, 75th) and Todd McLean (52nd) tallied.
Kickers’ reserves lost 1-0.
Also in the Second Division, Clarkstown downed Homenetmen 2-0 on Frank Picchininni’s brace, while Sean Downes’ equalizer (70th) for Nags Head United canceled out Tony Alessandro’s 25th minute strike in a 1-all tie with Eintracht.
Tanase Iorgoveanu, Dan Ceabuca and Robert Cretulescu starred in Ridgewood’s 3-0 romp over Barnstonworth Rovers.
David Deanneau got all the goals in B.W. Gottschee’s 3-1 result over Anatolia. Daniel replied.
In Brooklyn, the Koksal brothers, Onder (two) and Omer accounted for three of Sunnyside Genclik’s goals in a 4-0 win over Fenerbahce. Salih Cakirca was the other scorer.
The all-Japanese showdown between S.I.C.J.A. and Jam’s was goalless.
West co-leaders Guyana Veterans (15) posted a 2-1 win over B.W. Gottschee. Junior Walker (45th) and David Simpson (65th) brought Guyana back after Carlos Arauje had scored directly from a corner (18th).
Scala Brasil kept (also 15) pace with Guyana by pipping Greek-American/Atlas 3-2 at the Con Edison Field. Ruy Reis, Marco Lobo and Francisco Gomes tallied for Brasil, while Jose Luis Leva and Gus Tsirkas netted for the Greeks.
At Randalls Island, Paulo Serferle (three), Kissell Holger (two) and Peter Howlett scripted Athletic Club’s 6-2 thrashing of Eintracht. Andy had both Eintracht goals.
Serbia S.C. won for the first time, 5-1 at the expense of Banatul. Novakovic, Lukic, Drobnjak and Bozo tallied.
And at Rippowan Center High School, Fairfield/Westchester and Pancyprians drew 2-2. The Margiludis cousins, Dino and Gus scored for Pancyprians, while Joe O’Beirne and Matt Franklin delivered for the hosts.