English Premier League
Michael Obafemi made his long-awaited return from injury and enjoyed a lively cameo from the bench, coming close to scoring but was denied by an Alisson tackle, in Southampton’s defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.
Irish trio John Egan, Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick all featured in Sheffield United’s 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.
Adam Idah celebrated the final game of the season with a goal in Norwich City’s 2-2 draw away to Barnsley. Idah’s second-half equalizer was his first goal since February and his third of a season which was hampered by injuries. However, both Idah and Omobamidele ended the season on a high and are now on their way back up to the Premier League!
Coventry City’s Jordan Shipley also enjoyed his final game of the season as he scored their first with a well-placed finish, and assisted their fourth in a 6-1 hammering of Millwall.
Derby County, with Jason Knight starting in midfield, survived relegation by the skin of their teeth after they scored a late equalizer against Sheffield Wednesday while Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City also netted a late leveler against Rotherham United which ultimately relegated both of the Yorkshire sides.
Conor Hourihane started in Swansea City’s 2-0 defeat to Watford but they won’t mind too much as their play-off place was already confirmed.
Elsewhere, Darragh Lenihan’s Blackburn Rovers finished the campaign with a 5-2 win over Birmingham City. Likewise for Alan Browne and Greg Cunningham at Preston who beat Nottingham Forest by two goals to one, while Daryl Horgan was a late substitute for Wycombe in their 3-0 victory away to Middlesbrough.
English League Two
Cambridge United, after a nervy couple of results, finally clinched promotion to League One after a comfortable final day win over Grimsby Town. Wes Hoolahan capped off a terrific campaign with his seventh goal of the season.
“To get promotion at my age is a massive achievement.”Wes Hoolahan speaking to BBC Sport
Bolton Wanderers ended a tremendous season in style as they also secured automatic promotion after beating Crawley Town by four goals to one. Bolton sat in 20th position in February and hopes of promotion were well and truly fading. Then came an unbeaten run of 14 games (11 wins) which completely turned their season around. Eoin Doyle definitely played his part in the turnaround and netted his 19th goal of the season on the last day. He is only the second Wanderers striker to score 19 or more goals since 2000. Congratulations also to Zak Elbouzedi and Ryan Delaney!
Both Stephen’s were on the scoresheet for Mansfield Town in their 3-0 victory over Port Vale. Stephen McLoughlin scored a brace while Stephen Quinn also got a goal in the win. McLoughlin’s two goals from left-back, including a excellent free-kick, earned him a place in the final League Two ‘Team of the Week’.
The final Irish goalscorer of the weekend in the fourth tier was Morecambe’s Liam McAlinden. The midfielder opened the scoring for the Shrimps in a 2-0 win over Bradford City.
Cheltenham Town and Irish defender Sean Long came out on top in League Two, finishing the season in first place while Padraig Amond (Newport County), Dominic Bernard (Forest Green Rovers) and Lee O’Connor (Tranmere Rovers) all join McAlinden and Morecambe in the League Two play-offs.
Meanwhile at the other end of the table, James McKeown (Grimsby Town) and Alan McCormack (Southend United) were relegated to Non-League.
Roy O’Donovan converted a penalty in Newcastle Jets’ 1-1 draw with Sydney.
English Premier League
Seamus Coleman continues to impress for Everton at right wing-back. They beat West Ham 1-0 and although Allan was accredited with the man of the match award, Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti wasn’t shy in revealing who his man of the match was.
At Arsenal, Callum Robinson played just over an hour in West Brom’s defeat to the North London side.
English League One
Like his Ireland teammate Adam Idah, Ipswich Town striker Troy Parrott finished the season with a goal, which was his second goal of the season for the Tractor Boys. Parrott neatly tucked home the ball to give Ipswich a 3-0 lead. Fleetwood Town went on to pull one back but Ipswich held on for the win. Arsenal youngster Mark McGuinness also played the last game of his loan spell with the club.
Two men who haven’t struggled to find the net this season are Rochdale’s Jimmy Keohane and Oxford United’s Olamide Shodipo. Wing-back Jimmy Keohane scored his tenth goal in all competitions as Rochdale beat MK Dons by three goals to nil. Unfortunately for the Dale, it was too little too late and the three points were not enough to survive relegation to the fourth tier. Conor Grant and Eoghan O’Connell also featured for Rochdale.
Shodipo also hit double figures for the season, scoring his 12th goal in Oxford’s 4-0 win over Burton Albion on the final day. Shodipo’s goal and Oxford’s win was worth a lot more as their victory ensured that they pipped Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth to a play-off spot. Shodipo, Mark Sykes, Anthony Forde, Liam Kelly and Luke McNally (all Oxford United) now join Aiden McGeady, Aiden O’Brien (both Sunderland) and Anthony Scully and Sean Roughan (both Lincoln City) in the League One play-offs.
Wigan Athletic’s Will Keane made it five goals from seven games in a final day defeat to Swindon Town. The 28-year-old’s end-of-season form earned him the PFA Fan’s Player of the Month award for April and his club Wigan also managed to stay afloat in League One.
Champions Hull City with Irish representatives Sean McLoughlin and Dan Crowley were joined by Peterborough United and Jack Taylor in being promoted to the Championship.
At the bottom end of the table four clubs were relegated with a host of Irish players dropping down: Conor Shaughnessy, Conor Grant, Jimmy Ryan, Jimmy Keohane, Paul McShane, Eoghan O’Connell and Gavin Bazunu (on loan) (all Rochdale); Alan Sheehan, Cian Bolger and Michael Harriman (all Northampton Town); Conor Masterson (Swindon Town); and Joshua Barrett (Bristol Rovers).
Scottish FA Cup
Heartbreak for the Irish contingent at St Mirren who bowed out of the Scottish Cup in the semi-final stage against St Johnstone. Conor McCarthy’s late header, assisted by Jamie McGrath, proved to be in-vain as they could not find a late equalizer and ultimately lost the tie 2-1.
Derrick Williams’ perfectly-timed sliding tackle found Chicharito who subsequently found the net for LA Galaxy in the Irish defender’s second start for his new club. The derby game against Los Angeles FC finished 2-1 to LA Galaxy.
Jay O’Shea set up Brisbane Roar’s second goal in a 3-2 defeat to Melbourne City.
Jon Gallagher started his first game for Austin and scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 defeat away to Sporting Kansas City.
Swiss Challenge League
Conor Ronan (on loan from Wolves) came off with an injury in Grasshopper Club Zurich’s loss to Winterthur. It was later confirmed that the 23-year-old Irish midfielder suffered a broken metatarsal and will be sidelined for a prolonged period.
Seventeenth goal of the season for St Mirren’s Jamie McGrath. The 24-year-old opened the scoring for Mirren in a 3-3 draw with Kilmarnock which also involved Dylan Connolly who assisted the decisive equalizer in the 83rd minute for Jim Goodwin’s men.
English Premier League
Seamus Coleman captained Everton to a second successive clean sheet as their Thursday evening clash with Aston Villa finished goalless.