Lansdowne Yonkers F.C. players celebrating a goal. Hess Boys Photography
By Ralph 'Onz' Chery
Nov. 9th, 2018
The fierce Lansdowne-NY Greeks rivalry—we have to come up with a name for it—creeped in the Fricker Cup's second round on Tuesday night at Tibbetts Brook Park Field 3.
The Bhoys were victorious, downing NY Greek Americans, 2-0, for the second time in six days.
The never-ending list of former Lansdowne players who transferred to NY Greeks and vice versa was yet again the enticing pre-game story that stirred up the rivalry.
Center half Harri Hawkins, who had already switched from Lansdowne to NYGA in the 2016-17 season transferred back to the Yonkers club on October 20th. Tuesday's Fricker Cup match was Hawkins' second game versus NYGA back in a Lansdowne jersey after the 2-0 victory over the Greeks on Oct. 31st.
Over to the Greeks' roster, the latest former Lansdowne players are Conor Hunter, an Irishman who was with the Bhoys during their threepeat from 2013 to 2016; Tom Wharf, who spent five years with Lansdowne and Pat McCann, who played just one season at Tibbetts Brook Park last year.
Over the past three years, eight players wore both NY Greeks's and LYFC's jerseys.
NY Greek Americans captain Shaun 'Fozzy' Foster as a NYGA player and back in his time with Lansdowne Yonkers F.C.
"We have a great rivalry with Greek America, this year especially as there are several players from Lansdowne on their roster," Lansdowne president William McGregory said, "it was another classic encounter last night [Tuesday] and we were delighted to come away with the victory but nothing but respect at the end from both sets of players. Both teams gave 100 percent."
Hawkins assisted Lansdowne's first goal versus his old club as he headed Karim Russell's long free-kick to Leo Folla, who headed the ball back in the net.
New signing Aaron Dennis netted the CSL champions' second goal as he directed a shot to the bottom right corner after a flashy individual diagonal run from Jack Doherty's pass.
Rewind back to three weeks before this game, the Bhoys were on a five-match losing run versus CSL clubs, which is by far their worst start of the season in the modern era.
Despite this unbelievable poor start of the season, McGregory always believed that his club would climb back to their normal winning ways.
"With the strong board we have at the club and the management team of Jim Kelly and Sean Kelly we were confident we would be competitive, there is a long way to go but with the work rate and extra training program set up by the boys we hope to push into the top four by Christmas,” the 42-year-old said.
Lansdowne Yonkers F.C. president William McGregory. Lansdowne Yonkers F.C. Images
The Yonkers club is unbeaten in their last seven games in all competitions and climbed from last spot to fifth place in a little over three weeks. Doherty, who assisted Dennis’ goal, has played a key role in the Bhoys’ revival, scoring seven goals in the Irish club’s last seven outings.
Newcomers Hawkins and Dennis has also helped bring the Bhoys’ season back to normal, they haven’t lost a game since their arrival. Dennis scored three times in his first five matches with Lansdowne and the club only conceded two goals since including Hawkins in their roster in these five games.
Lansdowne Yonkers F.C. announced the signing of Harri Hawkins (left side of jersey) and Aaron Dennis (right) on Oct. 20th. Lansdowne Yonkers F.C. Images
After inking a deal with former Penn F.C. players, Hawkins and Dennis, the CSL champions signed ex-F.C. Dallas defender Otis Earle on November 4th to keep solidifying their roster. Earle made his debut for Lansdowne versus NYGA.
In the first round of the FRicker Cup, the Yonkers based club outlasted NY Athletic Club, 6-5, in penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw while NY Greeks enjoyed a 3-0 win over their Cypriot rivals NY Pancyprian Freedoms.
Lansdowne won the Fricker Cup two years ago but was eliminated out of the competition last season by none other than the club they just knocked out of the cup, NY Greeks.