We’ll start at the bottom of the Corgoň Liga, where concerns are deepening at Trnava. During the week, the SFZ disciplinary committee decreed that Miroslav Karhan must give up the club captaincy until the spring after he kicked a TV microphone following last Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at Senica.
At the same time, co-owner Vladimír Poor was compelled to insist that coach Pavel Hoftych’s job was not under threat. At least a Saturday visit from inconsistent Trenčín looked like the ideal opportunity for Hoftych’s side to finally get their league season up and running. Instead, Trenčín strolled to a 3-0 win, courtesy of goals from Jakub Holúbek, Samuel Štefaník and David Depetris. Hoftych made no excuses afterwards, admitting that Trnava are in an ‘unpleasant, difficult situation’. As for Trenčin, a betting man’s nightmare, their game at home to Slovan Bratislava next Saturday should be worth seeing.
Trnava have company at the foot of the table in the shape of Spartak Myjava, who lost 1-0 at home to Banská Bystrica. Myjava, who had most of the play and chances, were especially unlucky in the 42nd minute, when Bystrica ‘keeper Peter Boroš somehow changed direction to turn aside Martin Černáček’s header. Six minutes from full-time, substitute Martin Pančík ran onto Radoslav Augustín’s pass and finished emphatically to give the visitors the points. Their coach, Norbert Hrnčár, expressed his relief afterwards, pointing out that three of his players had been on Under-21 duty inKievduring the week. He was also full of praise for Myjava’s ground redevelopment. ‘This place shows it is possible to create good surroundings for football inSlovakia,’ he said.
Eastern Slovakia’s two top-flight clubs both maintained their 100% home records at the weekend. Košice effectively decided their match with Vion Zlaté Moravce in three minutes just after the hour mark, when Dávid Škutka and Peter Šinglar both scored. Vion did reply, through Ľubomír Bernáth in the 77th minute, but coach Juraj Jarábek wasn’t fooled into thinking they deserved better than defeat. ‘We only started playing in the last 20 minutes,’ he said. He also had harsh words for referee Horváth ; ‘Košice didn’t need him to help them. Perhaps he just doesn’t know what he’s doing.’ The disciplinary committee will be gathering again this week….
Nitra’s Ladislav Jurkemík was another coach making the long trek west in a bad mood after his team were beaten 1-0 at Prešov. The decisive goal, after 40 minutes, was a rather freakish affair, Miloš Šimončič deflecting Marián Adam’s cross into his own net. ‘It wasn’t a good game,’ complained Jurkemík, ‘Prešov scored a lucky goal, then they just defended and kept breaking up the play.’ His opposite number, Angel Červenkov, was naturally happier, praising his team for their ‘character and fight’.
Champions Žilina were obviously expected to be among the sides contesting top place from the start of the season, but the same could not be said about Ružomberok, their Saturday visitors. As it turned out, though, Ruža’s disciplined defensive performance in a 0-0 draw suggested they’re not ready to start plummeting down the table just yet. While it was a fine team effort from them, their captain, Tomáš Ďubek, deserves special mention. Not only did he play with skill and good sense in central midfield, he was constantly instructing and encouraging his team-mates. The effect was such that coach Ladislav Šimčo, in contrast to the agitated figures who normally inhabit the ‘technical area’, didn’t feel the need to rise from his bench until the game entered the last ten minutes.
As for Žilina, they sent on Miroslav Kačer, a midfielder who only turned16 inJune, for the second-half, and he came as close as anyone to conjuring up a goal when his long-range shot took a deflection and spun millimetres wide of the right-hand post. Reflecting their good start to the season was Ruža’s away following, easily the largest they’ve had at Žilina since spring 2006, when the team was closing in on the league title. Long may the fans‘ enthusiasm continue.
The draw at Žilina gave Slovan the chance to take a two-point lead at the top when they entertained Senica in the Sunday fixture. Slovan duly won 1-0, thanks to defender Kristian Kolčák’s 39th minute header from a Filip Hlohovský corner. Senica had most of the play after half-time but were unable to break down the stubborn home defence. Žilina play their game in hand on Tuesday (at home to Trnava) so Slovan may be knocked off their perch within 48 hours. Still, Samuel Slovák will be pleased with the three successive victories claimed since he took charge of the team. He will also feel that there are better performances still to come once he’s found the best way to blend the various talents at his disposal.
Trnava 0 Trenčín 3
Myjava 0 Banská Bystrica 1
Košice 2 Zlaté Moravce 1
Prešov 1 Nitra 0
Žilina 0 Ružomberok 0
Slovan 1 Senica 0