Spartak Trnava should be celebrating their first win of the season. But it seems that their game at Nitra on Friday night, which they won 3-1, was not an occasion that did anyone proud. Nitra had three men sent-off, the first two somewhat harshly. The third, Seydouba Soumah, saw red for treading on Patrik Čarnota’s chest. He then attempted to punch Miroslav Karhan and seemed on the point of attacking referee Marek Mastiš, before finally leaving the field. Nitra coach Ladislav Jurkemík refused to comment afterwards beyond saying that ‘this game had nothing to do with football‘. Meanwhile, a statement by SFZ president Ján Kovačik, expressing concern at events at both Nitra and the Trenčín v Myjava match, raises questions about what may or may not have gone on. It mentions, variously, controversial refereeing decisions, unsporting behaviour, vulgarity and, most disturbingly, racism and intolerance.
There were no red cards during Trenčín’s 3-2 win over Myjava, but there is a clue to what caused Kovačik concern here in the post-match words of Myjava coach Ladislav Hudec. To take the goals first, the prolific David Depetris put Trenčín ahead, only for Matej Siva and Vladimír Kukoľ to turn things round for the visitors. Depetris equalised with ten minutes left, then had a chance to complete a hat-trick when his team were awarded a last-minute penalty. He missed, but Tomáš Malec followed up to score from the rebound. Hudec was full of praise for Trenčín, who, he said ‘were better than us in most respects’, but criticised the referee for being ‘very weak all round’. More incriminatingly, he claimed that the official had told the players he didn’t see the foul for which he awarded the penalty, but ‘knew there must have been one’.
Senica move above Myjava into tenth place following their 2-0 win away to Ružomberok. Goals from Jaroslav Diviš and the returning Juraj Piroška (a penalty) did the damage here. Ruža’s excellent start to the season suddenly looks in danger of dissolving. Their already small squad is being stretched by long suspensions for Peter Maslo and Mulumba Mukendi, and those who are eligible to play look ‘nervous’, according to coach Ladislav Šimčo.
Prešov and Košice served up a dire 0-0 draw in the eastern Slovak derby. One measure of what sort of game this was is that the second-half didn’t produce a single incident deemed worthy of inclusion on TV highlights packages. Instead, viewers were treated to pictures of the two sets of fans engaging in intelligent debate across the segregation fence. At least neither coach tried to kid anyone into thinking that his team deserved three points. Košice’s Ján Kozák will, however, be happy to have steered his side into joint second place, level on points with Vion, Žilina and Trenčín.
After Žilina and Trnava, leaders Slovan Bratislava became the third fancied side in succession to receive a footballing lesson at Vion’s hands, losing 3-1. Andrej Hodek, Lukáš Kováč and Adam Žilák were the home side’s scorers, while Erik Grendel’s long-range effort gave Slovan short-lived hope. Slovan coach Samuel Slovák described the game as ‘interesting’ and lamented the fact that his players had helped their opponents by making individual mistakes. The crowd, 3,387, was a big one by Vion’s standards. It can’t be said often enough, though, that this is a club that deserves all the admiration going, for the way they’re run and for the football they play.
The weekend programme was completed by Banská Bystrica’s 2-2 draw at home to Žilina on Sunday evening. Bystrica were twice ahead, through Tomáš Hučka and Matúš Turňa, with Jaroslav Mihalík and Jakub Paur replying for Žilina. Paur’s goal, coming as it did in the 90th minute, will have been a particular source of frustration for Bystrica. They are just behind the group of teams contesting second place, but would be in more serious pursuit of Slovan were it not for an inability to turn home draws into wins. As for Žilina, their home game with Prešov next week is a less than attractive prospect. Dutch coach Frans Adelaar will surely settle for a first win in six games, even if there’s little ‘total football’ on display.