By Jay Mwamba
In a rematch of last season’s championship match, CSL kings Lansdowne Bhoys and former titlists Pancyprian Freedoms battled to a 1-1 draw at Tibbetts Brook Park last Saturday night.
Stephen Roche had the assist on Papa Thioume’s ice breaker in the 35th minute to put the Bhoys ahead against the side they blanked 4-0 in June to win the CSL crown.
“Great finish after the [Pancyprian] keeper denied Daryl Kavanagh on 20 minutes,” said Lansdowne’s Paul Doherty. “We dominated play and gave up a poor equalizer after a defensive lapse [46th].”
That was when German ace Yannick Reyering pounced on the error to peg back the Bhoys.
Lansdowne responded by taking the fight to seven-time CSL champs Pancyprians and, according to Doherty, had three goals disallowed.
“We’re disappointed not to have the three points from this one after a great performance with winter conditions,” he rued.
Pancyprian were happy enough with the outcome.
“It was a good result for us playing without three of our key starters and a real short bench due to injuries,” noted manager George Halkidis, whose unbeaten side [6-0-2, 20] is four points clear in the West.
Second place Lansdowne [4-2-1, 13] slipped to third place in the East, three points adrift of new leaders NYAC who edged Stal Mielec 2-1.
Jake Mann and Raoui Lassoued connected for NYAC while Kestutis Mykolaitis had the Stal goal.
Waldemar Pyryt earned the Stal reserves a 1-1 draw
In the curtain raiser at Tibbetts Brook Park, ten–man Lansdowne nicked a 1-0 decision courtesy of Sean Kelly’s 86th minute header.
Lansdowne’s tie with the Greek-Cypriots came three days after the Yonkers Irish were dumped out of the US Amateur Cup 2-0 by United FC at Tibbetts Brook Park.
Paul Nittoli scored both goals while center back Artur Kulkov received props from manager Alex Zaretser.
“Strong team perfomance. Our keeper made some key safes,” said Zaretser. “We played a very strong game against probably the best team.”
New York Greek Americans blanked NYC Rovers 4-0 to stay on Pancyprian’s heels in the West.
Shaun Foster, Chris Megaloudis, Keith Detelj from 30 yards, and Pete Touros scripted the result.
Mario Gagliano connected in the 2-2 reserve draw.
Joe Cooper erased a two-goal deficit to earn Manhattan Celtic a 2-2 tie with New York Croatia in Boonton, New Jersey.
“Our second half performance showed the form we have been in and we are delighted with the point,” said coach Matt Kane
His reserves won 3-2, thanks to Barrie Taylor, Sean Southall and an own goal.
Jeff Natale [31st] scored as former holders Hoboken FC began another challenge for the New Jersey State Cup with a 1-0 win over SP Jaguars in the Round of 32 in Edison, NJ.
In Division Two, Lukasz Prawdzik’s goal [75th] for New York Ukrainians saw off Shamrock 1-0 in their top-of-the-table clash at St. Michael’s Playground.
Steve Kovalenko’s men joined the Sunnyside Irish in first place on the 16-point mark
Braden Ruddy, Leandro Fregossi and Dan Meola tallied for the first place Shamrock reserves who prevailed 3-1 after trailing to Iurii Vovk’s header.
At Flushing Field, Doxa’s Kurt Cameron [pen.] and the NYPD’s Kyle Hurst exchanged goals in a 1-1 draw.
NYPD ‘B’ won 2-0.
Damian Paz salvaged a point for Sporting Astoria from a 1-1 tie with New York Supreme on Randalls Island.
Astoria had fallen behind against the run of play in the first half and still had a chance to win it late. Winger Marc Vilson, however, shot straight at the goalie when clear.
“We are slowly getting to play well together. It’s a process and progress is slow. If we keep working we will do fine,” said Ed Romero.
His seconds lost a heart breaker. They came from two down to tie it through Mohammed Jalloh and Johan Quinde only to concede a third goal after a blunder.
Also in Division Two, Polonia beat Kickers 1-0 after a 2-2 draw in the reserve encounter.
Abdi was the Kicker scorer in the latter fixture.
Another side was taken to the proverbial woodshed by Metro Div. One’s hottest team. CPR Reds pulverized Dynamo SC on Randalls Island to improve to 6-0-1  atop the East standings.
“We came out hard from the start and put solid pressure on their defense which crumbled and gave up six first half goals,” said Reds’ Blake Berg.
Deco Heffernan hit a hat trick, Richie Kavanagh had a brace while Hendo DeRuiter and Timur Mone got a goal apiece.
Adrian Wynne came off the bench to key second place Lansdowne’s 5-1 come-from-behind rout of Mr. Dennehy’s at Tibbetts Brook Park.
John McGeeney canceled out Kenney Shirley’s opener for Dennehy’s and later took the corner from which Seamus Skeffington made it 2-1.
Then Wynne took over. He crossed for Damien Mescall to score the third and rounded the goalie himself for number four before setting up Keith Power to tap in the fifth goal.
Also in Metro Div. One East, Brishna blanked Gotham Argo 2-0 at Flushing Meadow on Mohammad Basir Mashriqi’s double.
Up three goals at half time against FC Gwardia at Bushwick Inlet, Ridgewood went on to capitulate 6-3 in a game of two dramatic halves.
Dorin Dican [14th], Emre Tetik [26th] and Ayhan Bekdemir [37th] were on target before the Metro One West leaders stirred from their slumber.
Konrad Sobotka [two], Marcin Mokrzycki, Marcin Gorski, Mateusz Chlost and Piotr Silski turned it around for Gwardia [5-1-1, 16] on resumption.
Elsewhere in Metro One, Ferley Galette and Fritz Bosquet scored for Missile FC in an 8-2 drubbing by Gotham City.
Dardan Jashari and Alban Vneshta were also on target in NYC Vllaznia’s 4-2 loss to New York Ittihad.
Williamsburg International ended a three-match skid in Metro Div. Two by handing Mola SC its first defeat of the season, 5-2, at Bushwick Inlet.
Andreas Moudatsos notched a hat trick, with Dimitri Saad and Sergio Garcia also on the mark. Stefano Catalano and Michael Azzato were on target for Mola [5-1-1, 16] who dropped into third place, five points off the mark.
There was disappointment on both benches after a 1-1 stalemate between NYC Metro Stars and Barnstonworth Rovers on Randalls Island.
Remo Enea [80th] canceled out Elmar Batres’ first half effort [32nd] to deny Stars full points.
“This game was certainly not one either side can be proud of,” said Stars’ Wayne Doyle, whose undefeated side [5-0-2, 17] dropped four points behind Metro Two leaders Spring Valley Huerto United.
“Tough game, terrible playing conditions,” remarked Rovers manager Juan González Casares.
Huerto, meanwhile, improved to 7-0  with 3-1 win over SC Eintracht. Artur Galstian had the Eintracht goal.
Nine-man Grenadier Zenith played their socks off to defeat Metro City Fury 2-0 in a Metro Div. Two fixture at McCarren Park.
Pierre Antoine Davidson and Wilson Tilme scored in the first half and with fatigue settling in, short-handed Zenith closed shop to secure the win.
“Everyone played 200 percent. The entire team played like warriors — I’m very proud of those guys,” said Jacky Felix.
Still, he singled out goalie Dannery Louis and captain Ralph Petit-Homme for kudos.
FC Partizani went down fighting against AO Brooklyn, breaching a two-goal deficit before succumbing 5-2 at Abraham Lincoln High School.
Pirro Cece struck to peg back AO but three unanswered goals saw off the visitors.
Matt Vega [two], Chris Vega, Chris Lanza and Austin Costeira connected.
Paddy McCarry’s Shamrock Over-30s made it seven wins out of seven after pipping Barnstonworth Premier 2-1 on Randalls Island.
Sean Riley [40th] netted what proved to be the winner after Premier’s Marlon Johnson had canceled out Tayfun Gokeman’s early strike [5th].
“Hard fought, we had to work hard for the points. Overall, I’m happy with the performance,” said McCarry, with a nod to Adrian Morrissey.
The Rocks top Div. One [East] with 21 points.
In the West, Jack Vivonetto [30th] and Paul Cowler [35th, 80th] were on target in Manhattan Kickers’ 5-3 loss to Manhattan Celtic Legends – the first of the campaign for the leaders.
Souley Diallo [two], Tyrone Kent, Ansumana Gaye and Leo Doramodou connected for Legends.
“We literally gave the game away by passing back to their off side striker twice,” griped Eddie Yee Woo Guo.
Darren Cronshaw [two] and Sherif Hassan starred at McCarren Park where Nieuw Amsterdam edged Brooklyn Gunners 3-2 in an Over-30 Div. Two fixture.
Also in Div. Two, player-coach Dana Dimon had an assist in Argo Silva’s 6-3 defeat by Guyana Veterans. She set up Mohamed Tabrani.
Don Mitchell, from a Steve “Butch” Curran ball, and Mark Webb were the other scorers.
On Randalls Island, CPR Legends overcame a slew of injuries to stun hitherto Over-30 pace-setters SC Eintracht 4-2.
It was 4-0 at one point, thanks to Tom Pattinson, Steve Morse, Willian D’Andrea and Adil. But Joshua Lee and Dani Ceabuca pulled back two to make it respectable for Eintracht.
“The first time this season [we have] exceeded expectations,” said Manohar Venkataraman.