OLDEST IRISH AMERICAN NEWSPAPER IN USA, ESTABLISHED IN 1928
Category: Archive

Loss imperils Bhoys’ hopes for promotion

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

In a titanic top-of-the-table battle replete with all the drama and excitement of a championship decider, the relentless Bhoys were punished for a penalty miss on the hour by Hussein Nasreddin’s winner in the 81st minute.
With the victory, Kickers, coached by Mike Fitzgerald, booked their return to the top flight as champions a season after being relegated.
Lansdowne, on the hand, fell into a tie with Kandia, a team they must now beat in a makeup game, possibly on June 13, to clinch promotion to the First Division as runners-up. The unpredictable Caribbean side edged FC Japan 3-2 to join Lansdowne (9-2-3) on the 30-point mark.
“Disappointing,” muttered assistant coach Paul Doherty after watching his lads succumb to the once beaten Kickers (12-1-1, 37 points) on a hot, sticky day.
“I thought a draw would have been a fair result,” chipped in head coach Damien Dunleavy. “But we had plenty of chances to win. The penalty denial was the turning point.”
Dunleavy was referring to an incident, shortly after Michael “Mogo” Flood had shot wide from the spot, when Conor Hunter was floored in the box and the referee, after first appearing to put the whistle to his mouth, allowed play to continue.
Still, Flood’s penalty miss, following a hand ball by Kicker midfielder Ed Hicks, was the real pivotal moment for the Bhoys, who had the pick of the chances.
They’d drawn first blood through the hard running Marty Griffin who’d raced down the left wing, holding off two defenders, and unleashed a low drive that came off the far post before nestling in the net (9th).
Kickers’ equalizer six minutes later was less dramatic. In a move involving the visitors’ English forward, Joe Whiteman, the ball was flicked onto the hand of a Lansdowne defender resulting in a penalty that Nasreddin tucked home with goalie John McFadden stranded.
Lansdowne could have regained the lead in the 28th minute. A long ball from midfield released Hunter who showed Kickers’ sweeper Jeff La Rue a clean pair of heels. But as he lined up his shot, Hunter was thwarted by a brave challenge from goalie Chris Schilling.
Another chance fell the Bhoys’ way with the penalty in the 60th minute. The ever-dependable Flood, however, blasted wide, to give Kickers a fateful reprieve.
Three minutes later, it was Kickers’ turn on the penalty spot again. The outstanding Nasreddin, a 22-year-old Eriterian born in Milan, dusted himself off after being hacked in the box to take his second spot kick of the afternoon.
But McFadden was up to the challenge this time and denied him with his feet.
Lansdowne then fashioned one more glorious scoring opportunity from a corner in the 73rd minute — Griffin connecting with a diving header that missed the post by inches, before Kickers bagged the winner.
It came on the break 9 minutes from time and ended with lanky Argentine Elliott Brook swinging the ball to Nasreddin from the center circle. After beating a defender, the pacey forward homed in on goal, sidestepped McFadden and scored from close range.
While Lansdowne skipper Sean Hall was left fuming over the officiating, the newly crowned champions left the Bronx on cloud nine.
“It had the air of a championship game,” the ecstatic Fitzgerald said. “We knew [Lansdowne] would be tough. They gave us a good fight.”
Kickers completed the double over their Irish foes, whom they beat 4-3 in the fall. Lansdowne, however, got some measure of vengeance with a 2-1 victory in the League Cup.

O’DRISCOLL ENCORE
John O’Driscoll netted his second brace in a week to lead Lansdowne’s “B” side to a 5-0 rout over Kickers and keep the Bhoys on course for the Second Division Reserve title.
Also known as the “Vulture,” the free-scoring O’Driscoll had struck twice in Lansdowne’s 3-1 decision over Banatul the previous week.
He opened the floodgates against Kickers in the 20th minute and was followed on the score-sheet by Eamonn Duffy (25th) and Gavin Murray (49th) before grabbing his second (70th).
Enda Cole (85th) was the other marksmen for the undefeated Bhoys (10-0-4, 34), who lead SC Ukrainian (9-2-1,b28), 4-0 winners over Roosevelt Island International, by six points. Ukrainian, however, have two games in hand.

McLAUGHLIN OPENER
Brian McLaughlin led McCormack’s FC to a rare win, 2-1 over New York Wanderers in a Second Division tussle at McCarran Park.
McLaughlin shot his Metro Div. 1 bound club ahead in the 15th minute. Marco Rossi sealed McCormack’s second victory of the season on the half-hour.
Wanderers’ reserves prevailed 4-0.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese