It was undoubtedly a good Friday for Birmingham City’s Scott Hogan. The striker netted the winner from the penalty spot in stoppage time against an out-of-form Swansea City side with Conor Hourihane and Ryan Manning both on the pitch.
Chris Hughton’s Nottingham Forest picked up their first win in six after Cyrus Christie set up James Garner for a first-half goal that sealed the win.
Ireland U-21 international Andrew Omobamidele earned his first senior start in a Norwich City shirt in their 1-1 draw with Preston North End. The 18-year-old centre-half did not look out of place either, putting in a ‘Man of the Match’ display for the league leaders.
English League One
Friday afternoon’s fixtures brought up some familiar names on the scoresheet in League One. Firstly to Sunderland where it is still full steam ahead for the promotion charge. Oxford United were the team standing in the way this time — albeit with 10 men for half an hour after Mark Sykes was sent-off — and Sunderland batted them aside, winning 3-1 with Aiden McGeady scoring the second goal of the match.
Next to Wigan where Portsmouth won their third game on the bounce. Marcus Harness assisted the first (after a failed attempt at a clearance from Gavin Bazunu) and Ronan Curtis scored the decisive second in a 2-1 win against Rochdale.
Alan Judge scored his fourth goal of the season as Ipswich Town beat Bristol Rovers by two goals to one. Judge’s first attempt was blocked but he made no mistake with the rebound, volleying it home from corner of the six-yard box.
English League Two
In the fourth division, Jamie Devitt found a late winner for Barrow against Newport County with a terrific free-kick. His first goal for the club and a crucial three points for Barrow who are lingering down at the bottom of the table in 21st spot.
Billy Clarke set up Bradford City’s third goal in a 4-1 rout against Forest Green Rovers.
English Premier League
If only the Republic of Ireland could play against Chelsea in every game. All four of Callum Robinson’s goals this season in the Premier League have come against the London club. West Brom provided the upset of the weekend as they beat 10-man Chelsea 5-2. Dara O’Shea’s afternoon lasted just over 20 minutes due to injury and Robinson was introduced minutes later, before going on to bag himself a brace in the victory. His first was a stunning first-time volley and his second a clever dink over Mendy in the Chelsea net.
Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick both started while John Egan appeared for the final stages after his spell on the sidelines in Sheffield United’s defeat to Leeds United.
Another man who grabbed a brace this weekend was St Mirren’s Jamie McGrath. The Irish midfielder opened the scoring with a delightful lob before converting a penalty late in the game to ensure that St Mirren progress to the next round of the cup. His performance in this game, and throughout the season, has generated some noise surrounding a potential call-up to the Ireland squad (something we forecasted back in February). It is safe to say that Mirren boss Jim Goodwin is his biggest supporter and firmly believes that McGrath is ready for the international stage.
Manchester United academy product Sean McGinty also scored from the spot this weekend in the Scottish Cup. The defender’s 92nd minute penalty brought the game to extra-time where his team Greenock Morton found a winner against East Fife.
English Premier League
In the first of the Premier League fixtures on Monday, Everton were held to a 1-1 draw by Crystal Palace at Goodison Park. Seamus Coleman started at right wing-back and laid it on a plate for James Rodriguez who gave the Toffees the lead before Crystal Palace equalized in the 86th minute.
James Collins scored a late consolation goal for Luton Town against fifth placed Barnsley in a 2-1 defeat. The striker is now on 11 goals in all competitions this campaign.
At Stoke City, James McClean returned to domestic action, making his first appearance since February. He was introduced for the final stages of Stoke’s defeat to Millwall. Danny McNamara started his third consecutive game for Millwall (who incidentally won their third game in a row) at right-back following a stint on the bench.
Conor Hourihane and Ryan Manning featured again for Swansea as they suffered their second last minute heartache in the space of four days. Preston won the game in the 91st minute through a Matt Grimes own goal. The Swans have now dropped to fourth in the league.
English League One
It will certainly be a season to remember for Aiden McGeady who curled in a free-kick in Monday’s draw with Peterborough United to make it two goals in two games. Not a bad way to celebrate your 35th birthday and his goal means Sunderland remain unbeaten in 13 games.
Andrew Omobamidele started his second successive game for Norwich as they thrashed Huddersfield Town 7-0, with five of the goals coming before half-time.
Fellow Irish U-21 international Jonathan Afolabi was on the scoresheet for Dundee in their 3-0 victory over Ayr United. The 21-year-old, who has predominantly been used from the bench this season, is now up to three goals for the season.