Both James McCarthy and Liam Scales were late substitutes in Celtic’s second consecutive win over Portuguese outfit Ferencvarosi. They remain third in the group, one point behind Real Betis who occupy second spot.
Europa Conference League
Graham Carey played the full ninety minutes in CSKA Sofia’s 2-0 defeat to Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk. Sofia are bottom of the group with just one point.
English Premier League
There was second successive start for Andrew Omobamidele in Norwich City’s first win of the season. They came away from Brentford with an important three points but the win was not enough to save Daniel Farke his job. Omobamidele, along with Adam Idah, will now face the challenge of impressing the new manager when he comes in.
Shane Duffy and Ciaran Clark came head to head in a 1-1 draw between Brighton and Newcastle United. It was a more eventful evening for Clark who gave away a penalty which Brighton converted. He went on to redeem himself in the second-half by nodding the ball down to Isaac Hayden who netted the equalizer. Jeff Hendrick and Aaron Connolly were both missing from the matchday squads.
In the Championship, there was first senior competitive goal for Ireland U-21 international Festy Ebosele. The talented 19-year-old, who can slot in anywhere down the right hand side, started and scored his goal from right-wing in Derby County’s 1-1 draw with Millwall. Ebosele kept his cool and found the bottom corner to give Derby the lead just before half-time.
Scott Hogan continues his fine run of form as he made it three goals in as many games in Birmingham City’s defeat to Reading. The Blues took the lead after just three minutes when Hogan rounded the keeper and tucked the ball home.
Bournemouth — with Mark Travers starting per usual and Gavin Kilkenny back in the side — returned to winning ways after their midweek defeat to Preston. They comfortably beat Swansea City by four goals to nil.
There were also starts for Jayson Molumby, Callum Robinson, Sheffield United duo Enda Stevens and John Egan, while both Jason Knight and Ryan Manning started for their respective clubs.
Goals were aplenty in the FA Cup on Saturday. Former Norwich City and UCD man Simon Power scored his first goal of the season in Harrogate Town’s 2-1 victory over Welsh and more recently Hollywood’s Wrexham. And it was a rocket from Power who was teed up from a free-kick before rifling the ball home.
Another League of Ireland graduate in Aaron Drinan was again amongst the goals this weekend. The Leyton Orient man scored the only goal of the game, his seventh in all competitions this campaign. The striker was found by fellow Irishman Shadrach Ogie who played a perfectly timed through ball into his path. Drinan kept his composure before finding the bottom corner.
Marcus Harness bagged his fifth goal in eight games in Portsmouth’s 1-0 win at home to non-league side Harrow Borough. Gavin Bazunu and Ronan Curtis also featured in the cup win.
Former Liverpool man Conor Masterson scored his first for new club Cambridge United and it was an important equalizing goal against Northampton Town. The centre-half was quickest to react to a cross into the box as he smashed the ball home to set his team up for a rematch.
The final Irish goal in the FA Cup came in the tie between Chesterfield and Southend United. Both sides ply their trade in the English National League and it was Irishman Rhys Murphy who opened the scoring for Southend after four minutes. However Chesterfield fought back to score three goals of their own and subsequently progress to the next round. Murphy’s goal was a terrific finish after a well-worked move and was deservedly nominated for ‘Goal of the Round’.
Finally for Saturday’s action we head up north to Scotland where there was no shortage of Irish action. Aaron McEneff is off the mark for the 21/22 season. He scored the seventh and final goal with a lovely dinked finish in a 5-2 win for Hearts against Dundee United. The former Shamrock Rovers has struggled for game time (three appearances, all from the bench) since their promotion to the Scottish top tier so the goal will definitely give him and his manager a vote of confidence.
Elsewhere in the Scottish Premiership, Jamie McGrath returned to the St Mirren starting eleven after missing their previous two fixtures through injury. He will now link up this week with the Ireland squad.
Following on from his goal a couple of weeks ago, Ireland U-21 international Jonathan Afolabi started his second game of the season and set up Ayr United’s second goal of the game in a 2-2 draw with Inverness.
Scottish League One
There was also an assist in the third tier for Luca Connell. The Irish midfielder will be hoping to play his way back into Ireland U-21 contention after missing out on the last couple of squads.
English Premier League
Seamus Coleman was one of Everton’s top performers as they played out a 0-0 draw with Antonio Conte’s Spurs. Matt Doherty was introduced for the final twenty minutes in the stalemate.
It was the battle of the Irish goalscorers in Bolton Wanderer’s FA Cup clash with Stockport County on Sunday. Eoin Doyle landed the first strike when he levelled things up in the 33rd minute by getting on the end of a cross from Lloyd Isgrove. Three minutes later Bolton had the lead, however it didn’t last long. Stockport’s Paddy Madden set up their second to bring the game to 2-2 and now a replay awaits both sides.
Rochdale and Notts County also face a replay after Corey O’Keeffe’s goal was cancelled out by Notts County striker Kyle Wootton. O’Keeffe is now up to four goals for the season, along with four assists. Decent stats for a wing-back.
The final piece of FA Cup action came in the 2-2 draw between Oxford United and Bristol Rovers where Mark Sykes assisted the opening goal of the game.
Rhys Murphy may be in contention for goal of the FA Cup in last weekend’s round of fixtures, but there is no doubt that Zach Elbouzedi’s strike was the best from an Irishman this past week. The winger scored his first goal in AIK colours and it will be one he won’t forget. He couldn’t have it more sweetly if he tried as his first-time effort sailed into the top corner from 30-yards out. The 23-year-old also set up the third and final goal in a 3-0 victory for AIK against Östersunds FK.
With the international week in full flow, we only have action from the EFL Trophy to report on. Despite it being a quiet midweek, there was still plenty to talk about, especially in the game between Mansfield Town and Newcastle United’s U-21 team where there was a total of nine goals scored in thrilling affair. John-Joe O’Toole scored Mansfield’s second of the game in which they went on to win by six goals to three. Former Ireland U-18 international full-back James Clarke set up Mansfield’s third goal of the game.
It has been a disappointing start to the new season for Olamide Shodipo after a successful loan spell with Oxford United last year. The forward has started just six games so far this season for Sheffield Wednesday but would have been happy to have contributed with an assist in their 4-0 victory over Harrogate Town on Tuesday evening.
There were also assists on the night for Burton Albion’s Tom O’Connor and 19-year-old Bradford City defender Reece Staunton.
Padraig Amond scored his first two goals of the season for new club Exeter City in the EFL Trophy on Wednesday night. The 33-year-old striker netted the third and fourth goal in a 5-3 victory over Bristol Rovers.
Elsewhere in the competition, 18-year-old Wigan Athletic midfielder Baba Adeeko made his first professional start in a 2-0 win for the Latics.