QPR made it four games unbeaten on Friday night as they beat Luton Town 2-0. Jimmy Dunne nodded the ball back to Charlie Austin who headed home to clinch the win for QPR. A clean sheet and assist was more than enough for Dunne to earn his spot in the Championship ‘Team of the Week’.
English Premier League
Brighton’s run of form went from bad to worse when the lost to Aston Villa on Saturday in Steven Gerrard’s first game in charge. Shane Duffy started at the back for the Seagulls who are now eight games without a win.
Meanwhile, Ciaran Clark retained his spot in Newcastle United’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Brentford in what was also Eddie Howe’s first game as Newcastle manager (albeit managing from his hotel room).
The final managerial debut of the weekend in the Premier League came at Carrow Road as Dean Smith took charge of his first game as Norwich City gaffer, however he couldn’t find a spot in his first starting eleven for Ireland internationals Adam Idah and Andrew Omobamidele in their 2-1 victory.
There were four Irish goal scorers in the Championship on Saturday and three of the those goals came in the clash between Preston and Cardiff City at Deepdale. Sean Maguire opening the scoring after two minutes, his first of the season, but Cardiff City fought back in the second-half and turned the tie around thanks to goals from Ireland U-21 centre-back Mark McGuiness (first goal for Cardiff) and Ireland striker James Collins. All three finishes came from crosses with Collins’s header the pick of the bunch.
Callum O’Dowda also netted his first goal of the campaign in Bristol City’s 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers. The 26-year-old started at wing-back for Bristol and gave his side the lead with his deflected strike in the 34th minute. His performance also warranted his selection in the ‘Team of the Week’ alongside Jimmy Dunne.
English League One
After a poor start to the season, Portsmouth climbed further up the table thanks to a Marcus Harness 89th minute winner in their game against Wimbledon. Harness’s powerful low drive found the bottom corner, bringing his goal tally up to seven for the season. Having previously spent time with the Irish international squad, the winger might be hoping to go one step further and earn his first call-up in March if he can continue to produce his current form.
Former Ireland international Aiden McGeady converted a stoppage time penalty to secure all three points for Sunderland. The midfielder has seven goal contributions so far this season (three goals and four assists).
There were also a couple of assists in the third tier with Wes Hoolahan and Anthony O’Connor setting up their teammates. And if there was an award for assist of the season then Hoolahan would definitely be up for it. His backheel pass fell into the path of Sam Smith who did the rest in Cambridge United’s 3-1 defeat to Chiedozie Ogbene’s Rotherham United.
O’Connor’s assist came in the 94th minute as Morecambe snatched a late winner against Fleetwood Town who had Anthony Pilkington sent off minutes later.
The final piece of action in League One came in Accrington where 20-year-old Ciaran Brennan made his first competitive start for Sheffield Wednesday as they beat the home side 3-2.
From a candidate for assist of the season to what was definitely Ireland’s overseas goal of the week in St Mirren’s 1-1 draw with Livingston. On a high after a impressive week away with Ireland, Jamie McGrath’s goal was a clear sign of a man who is playing with confidence as he looped the ball over the Livingston keeper from 30-yards out.
Scottish League One
In the Scottish third tier there was a trio of Irish scorers. Luca Connell added his third goal of the season in a 2-1 defeat for Queen’s Park away to Peterhead. Conor Sammon and Eoghan Stokes came head to head in Alloa’s game with Dumbarton. Both men got on the scoresheet with former international Sammon netting an equalizer for Alloa in the 70th minute. Just over ten minutes later, former Bohs and Derry City man Stokes found the winner for Dumbarton with a pinpoint volley.
English Premier League
Seamus Coleman featured for Everton in a 3-0 defeat to champions Man City. The defeat takes Everton into the bottom half of the league.
On Sunday in the Championship, Derby County provided the upset of the weekend as they beat second-placed Bournemouth by three goals to two. Jason Knight opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a terrific header. The 20-year-old continues to demonstrate his attacking threat, scoring his second of the season off the back of his two assists in Ireland’s win over Luxembourg. Ireland U-21 pair Festy Ebosele and Gavin Kilkenny, along with Mark Travers, also featured in the game.
David McGoldrick set up the winning goal for Sheffield United against Reading on Tuesday night. John Egan and Enda Stevens kept a clean sheet in the 1-0 win. There were also more minutes for Alan Browne and Sean Maguire in Preston’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough and a fourth start of the season for Jayson Molumby in West Brom’s 0-0 draw with Blackpool.
English League One
It was a busy night for the Irish lads in League One with six different names on the scoresheet for their respective clubs. First to Lincoln where Gavin Bazunu kept his sixth clean sheet of the campaign, while at the other end, Marcus Harness made it two goals in two games when he opened the scoring for Portsmouth in first-half stoppage time. Portsmouth’s number ten is inching towards double figures when it comes to goals scored (eight). Ronan Curtis also got in on the action with an assist in the second-half in Pompey’s fifth consecutive win.
Next to Wigan’s 2-2 draw with Cambridge United where Will Keane also scored his eight goal of the season. Keane arrowed the ball into the far bottom corner which instigated a late comeback from the Latics.
Oxford United centre-half Luke McNally’s looping header nestled into the top corner which gave his side an early lead in an eventual 3-1 victory over Fleetwood Town.
Eoin Doyle added to his tally for Bolton this season in Tuesday’s tie with Doncaster Rovers. Doyle scored his first league goal since September in the 3-0 win. Meanwhile Cheltenham defender Sean Long scored his first goal of the season in a 2-0 victory away to Gillingham.
English League Two
In League Two, Padraig Amond is finally off the mark in the league for Exeter City. He scored their only goal of the game in a 3-1 defeat to Colchester United. In comparison, Aaron Drinan didn’t have to wait too long for his next goal, as he bagged his eight of the season (ten in all competitions) and his fifth in four games in Leyton Orient’s 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe United.
Jimmy Keohane and Conor Wilkinson also claimed assists on the night in a draw for Rochdale and a win for Walsall.
The final Irish goal of the week came in Blackburn’s 4-0 win over Peterborough United. Rovers’ captain Darragh Lenihan headed home his second of the season and the third goal of the game as his side eased to victory over a struggling Peterborough side.
Fellow defender Ryan Manning got his fourth assist of the season after he came on as a substitute in Swansea’s 2-0 win in Barnsley.
Festy Ebosele and Jason Knight both started for Derby as followed up their win over second-placed Bournemouth by sealing a point against first-placed Fulham on Wednesday night.
It was also a special night for Ireland U-19 international Jevon Mills who made his first-team debut for Hull City in a 1-0 win over Cardiff City.