Category: Archive

Soccer Roundup Missed calls, crossbar stymie Shamrocks

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Shamrock S.C. missed out on an opportunity to go to the top of the Cosmopolitan Soccer League First Division after battling to a goalless tie with defending champions New York Croatia at Downing Stadium last Sunday.

"We should have won," remarked the disappointed coach, John Guildea. "They had one chance the whole game, but we hit the post three times and had two blatant penalties not given."

The tie denied Shamrock (21 points) a chance to top the First Division for the first time ever in their CSL history. The Queens side instead remains in fourth place, two points behind new leaders New York Albanians who hammered St. Barnabas 5-2 in the Bronx.

Breathing a sigh of relief as Croatia try to avoid relegation, manager Tony Sucic said: "We had more of the luck of the Irish than Shamrock, if you consider all their near misses."

The Rocks began strongly and some slick swift moves involving the midfield and the front two Ray Elsesser and Tim Cummins only lacked the necessary finishing touch. With 20 minutes gone, the Shamrocks were denied an apparent penalty when Cummins was upended in the opposing penalty area, even the Croatia defense stopped waiting for a whistle that didn’t come. A few minutes later the Rocks struck the crossbar three times in a goalmouth melee that lasted almost 90 seconds. First Robbie Walsh, then Michael Bishop and finally Elsesser saw their efforts hit the woodwork.

Ger Watson, was brought in to the game more in the second half and the ease with which he skipped by his markers on the right wing made one ask the question why his services weren’t called on more in the first half. About to embark on a college career, the 19-year-old may have been playing his last game this season. The Shamrocks will miss the Northern Ireland Youth International in their pursuit of the title. Watson probably should have been awarded a penalty when he was bundled to the ground by a now frustrated Croatian full-back, with 20 minutes to go. It was during a period when the away team were enjoying the better of the exchanges. The strong defense though made certain that the Croats wouldn’t get past and Kevin McPartland was only called on once when he saved brilliantly from point blank range.

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Darren Thunder swung the pendulum back in the Shamrock favor when he came on to replace the leg-weary Billy Henderson with what we though was 15 minutes left. Thunder’s ‘rial power had the Croat defense under pressure time and time again. The final touch eluded the Rocks on this occasion though and when the referee blew for time, with three minutes left on most peoples clocks, they had to settle for a share of the spoils. Best for the Rocks were Terry Lawless, Michael Bishop and Robbie Walsh.

The second team got full points by way of a walk-over and a superb goal from poachmeister Niall Carolan wasn’t enough for the third team who went down 2-1 to Clarkstown.

Gaels 3, FCSIJCA 2

At a wind-blown Randalls Island, Astoria Gaels came away with a hard-earned 3-2 win against FCSIJCA. With the wind driving straight down the field, it played a major factor in the way the game was played and that was reflected in the fact that all five goals were scored with the wind.

The Japanese won the toss and played with the wind in the first half. The Gaels, however, did not sit back. Playing good football the Gaels were keeping the ball down and attacking well. Mark O’Donnell and Nestor Allen were linking well on the left and creating chances while Kevin Nagel in the middle was dominating. Nagel went close after 10 minutes and then from a corner Martin Reilly shot wide. On 20 minutes, Nestor went on a solo run, after beating three men he hit the foot of the post. SICJA then attacked down the right wing and on a rebound off Kyne Mhin put the Japanese up 1-0. Within five minutes it was 2-0 when they attacked down the middle and Brandon Chu slipped it in.

The Gaels started their attacking immediately on the blow of the second-half whistle. After 10 minutes they won a corner that resulted in two more corners after sustained pressure. On the third one, Mark O’Donnell’s inswinger was flicked home by George Doherty to put the score at 2-1, but five minutes later the score was tied. Pat Mulrey and Kevin Nagle put a move together that won a corner on the right. This time Doherty took the kick and Derek McKenna met it with a textbook header. Astoria got one more with five minutes left. Allen won a penalty and, after some debate, George Doherty was nominated and he duly drove the winner home. Best for the Gaels were O’Donnell at the back, Nagle and Allen in midfield and Doherty for the goals. Man of the match went to Kevin Nagle.

Astoria lineout: Eugene Kyne, Pat Mulrey, Mark O’Donnell, Mark Bourke, Steve Deharde, John Beirne, Kevin Nagle, Donal Walsh, Nestor Allen, Derek McKenna, Martin Reilly. Subs: Mark Kelly, George Doherty, Ger Carty, Damian Dowd.

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