By Jay Mwamba
Shamrocks coach Eugene Smyth fired a broadside at his players after a 4-1 shellacking by New York Albanians in the Bronx on Saturday night put the Queens side back in danger of relegation from the Cosmopolitan Soccer League First Division.
"Everyone played [badly]," Smyth said. "There wasn’t a good player on the team. It was a really bad performance."
Shamrock, third from the bottom, five points ahead of last placed CD Iberia and Banatul (both eight points) in the 10-team First Division, failed to rise to the occasion against the high flying Albanians. Sweeper Roland Demo, a former Div. I star in Albania (10th), and ex-Albanian international Naum Kove (30th), had Shamrock trailing 2-0 at halftime, before Tony Camaj (60th, 70th) connected twice in the second half.
"We feel that it’s our championship to lose," Albanians’ Martin Shkreli said after the league leaders (12-2, 36 points) had opened up a 7-point gap at the top of the standings.
Earlier at Evander Childs High School, the Shamrock reserves were blanked 2-0, while the ‘Rocks’ third team got free points from Brooklyn Stars, who forfeited their Metro I clash at Grady Field.
Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter
Paddy O’Sullivan produced three assists as third-placed Brooklyn Celtic (7-1-1, 22) overcame a 1-0 deficit to beat BW Gottschee 3-1 in an Over-30 fixture at Fort Hamilton Field.
Ralph, Medrick, and Yves were the recipients of O’Sullivan’s pinpoint service after Pablo Perez (10th) had shot Gottschee ahead.
"We had chances," said Gottschee goalkeeper Frank Lackner, whose side missed a penalty and were denied several sure goals by the Celtic goalie.
At Randalls Island, Rory Finn’s GH Metros held off S.C. Eintracht 2-1 in another Over-30 tussle. Guyla Hegyi and Carlo Moncerro tallied for Metros. Killian Schalk replied for Eintracht.
Also at Randalls Island, Lansdowne Bhoys conceded an own goal and a strike by James Betrie in a 2-1 loss to Metro II leaders Central Park Rangers (10-2, 32).
Herolind Hajdari netted a hat trick in Koha’s 5-3 win over relegation-threatened Banatul (2-12-2, 8) at SUNY-Maritime. Qazim Hakramaj got the other two. Koha’s reserves prevailed 4-2.
CD Iberia, who were winless all season until April 22, won their second straight, 3-2, at the expense ofFairfield/Westchester United, to join Banatul on the eight-point mark. Jimmy Vas and Zack Viders were on target for Fairfield in the losing effort. The reserves tied 1-all.
Ron Baskin (30th) and Stavros Zomopoulos (80th) earned Barnstonworth Rovers (11-2-2, 35) promotion to the First Division with goals in a 2-0 victory over FC Japan at Roosevelt Island. Rovers, whose reserves crashed 2-0, were given an assist by S.C. Eintracht’s 2-1 win over hitherto second-place Manhattan Kickers (9-4-2, 29) at Downing Stadium.
"That’s just fantastic," exclaimed David Brooks, who shares coaching duties with David Bonthrone, on hearing the Kickers result that confirmed Rovers’ promotion. "We were consistent throughout the season and didn’t drop too many points."
Kickers went into the match against Eintracht hoping for an assist of their own from Japan, and determined to emulate the Kickers reserves’ 3-1 triumph over the Eintracht second team in the curtain-raiser.
But Tony Alessandro (8th, 30th) upset the Kickers’ plans with two early goals. And even though Norman Pile was able to pull one back (40th), Mike Fitzgerald’s men couldn’t turn it around.
"We tried to come back. We were all over them in the second half and must have had three to four goals that the ref called back," said Fitzgerald.
Red card star
Osam Vukozyc (50th) scored and was later red-carded in New York Ukrainians’ 2-1 defeat by Guyana Juniors at Floyd Bennett Field. Guyana (9-3-3, 30) moved into second place in the East.
Elsewhere in the East, New York Wanderers edged Nag’s Head United 1-0 at Red Hook on Shadie’s goal.
"A very close game. A draw would have been a fair result," said Nag’s official Loclann McNulty.
Central Park Rangers’ promotion hopes from Division Two (West) suffered a major blow with a 2-1 loss to Clarkstown at Kennedy/Zucor Field.
Danny McNulty and Lou Cardenas connected for Clarkstown, while Mike Teany scored for Rangers (10-4-2, 32), who dropped a notch to third position.
West leaders Ridgewood Romac (12-2-2, 38) seem headed to the First Division, while Ripensia Romania (9-1-5, 32) climbed into second place on the back of a 4-0 romp over Homenetmen at Randalls. Adrian Ionete (three) and Peter Mititelu struck.
Jersey City FC (11-0-2, 35) remained undefeated and on the cusp of the Metro I championship after a gutsy fight-back in a hotly contested 3-3 tie with archrivals Sunnyside Genclik (11-1, 34) at Downing Stadium.
Sunnyside led 3-1, courtesy of Reha Asin (3rd), Cen Sahin (55th) and Onder Koksol (65th), with nine minutes left when Jersey, reduced to 10 men after a 34th-minute ejection, rallied back.
Mark Heslop (82nd) and Michele Guzzinati (87th) connected to join skipper John O’Neil on the scoreboard and salvage a precious point for Jersey.
In other Metro action, there were wins for Barnstonworth Rovers and Roosevelt International over Krimean Turkish (2-0) and ASA McCarthy (3-0), respectively, while CD Iberia and Gotham FC battled to a goalless tie.
Athletic Club’s Holger Kissel and Willie dispatched Pele Masters to a 2-1 defeat at Travers Island.
There were mixed results for the Guyana Veterans and New York Greek-American/Atlas franchises. Guyana "A" hammered Greek "B" 7-0 at Floyd Bennett Field, while at Randalls, Greek "A" edged Guyana "B" 3-2.