January 8th

English FA Cup

Aston Villa vs Liverpool was the opener for FA Cup weekend on Friday evening. An outbreak of COVID-19 at Villa’s training camp meant they had to put together a squad of youth players to face Liverpool.

After going behind to an early Sadio Mane goal, Villa pulled one back through former Ireland youth international Louie Barry but unfortunately there would be no miracle from Villa’s kids as Liverpool scored another three in the second half. Caoimhín Kelleher started in goal for Liverpool.

The other Friday night cup game saw Crystal Palace lose 1-0 to Wolves. James McCarthy featured for 70 minutes.

January 9th

English FA Cup

Onto Saturday’s FA Cup fixtures. Troy Parrott featured for 80 minutes and Danny McNamara made his debut in Millwall’s 2-0 win over Boreham Wood.

Seamus Coleman captained Everton to a 2-1 victory over Rotherham United. Coleman came up against former Shamrock Rovers man Trevor Clarke who was introduced for the final stages of the game.

Harry Arter got his first minutes since December 12th in Nottingham Forrest’s win against Cardiff City. The midfielder featured for 85 minutes.

Derby County were involved in the first cup upset of the weekend. They were knocked out by National League side Chorley FC. However, Like Villa, they also had to field a side without any senior players involved due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Irish duo Ola Ibrahim and Festy Ebosele both made their senior debuts for the club.

Darragh Lenihan played for the full match but Blackburn Rovers failed to keep out League One side Doncaster Rovers, losing 1-0. Elsewhere, Sheffield United picked up their first win of the season. They beat Bristol Rovers 3-2. John Egan played the full game and David McGoldrick got himself an assist.

Burnley crept through to the next round on penalties. Robbie Brady played over 90 minutes whilst for MK Dons, Richard Keogh was heading for the changing rooms after seeing red only for it to be overturned by VAR.

Another Irish duo were in action at Sheffield Wednesday. 19-year-old Ciaran Brennan played the full game and kept a clean sheet, while 20-year-old midfielder Alex Hunt featured for an hour in their win over Exeter City.

At Bournemouth, Ireland U-21 international Gavin Kilkenny started his first game of the season. The 20-year-old would’ve been hoping to have a greater impact so far this season but an impressive display in Bournemouth’s 4-1 win over Oldham Athletic will do him no harm in his quest for more game time.

Ryan Manning picked up another start in Swansea’s win over Stevenage. Fellow Championship side Stoke City crashed out to Premier League outfit Leicester City. James McLean started the game for the Potters.

Four goals conceded for Stoke and four goals scored for Wycombe Wanderers. Despite the fog, Daryl Horgan managed to pick out Alex Samuel for Wycombe’s final goal of the afternoon.

Unfortunately for Preston North End they were the team on the other end of the four goals. A debut to forget for Jayson Molumby. Alan Browne was introduced at half time following his recovery from injury.

There were starts for Jeff Hendrick and Ciaran Clark at Newcastle United who were beaten by an in-form Arsenal side. Meanwhile 19-year-old Alex Gilbert started his first game for Brentford as they beat Middlesborough by two goals to one.

English League One

Anthony Scully continued his impressive run of form by scoring his ninth goal of the season for Lincoln City. The forward also has six assists to his name. With performances of this nature becoming a regular occurrence, there may be a senior international call-up on the horizon for the U-21 international. The top of the table clash against Jack Taylor’s Peterborough United finished all square.

Burton Albion defeated Gillingham 1-0 with midfielder John-Joe O’Toole deputizing in the centre of the defence.

A host of Irish representatives were in action in Swindon Town’s win over Ipswich Town. Mark Travers made his first appearance for Swindon after his loan switch from Bournemouth. Despite two goals from Ipswich, including Alan Judge’s 87th minute strike, Swindon held onto to claim the victory.

Aiden McGeady was also on the scoresheet for Sunderland in their 1-1 draw with Hull City.

English League Two

Cambridge United moved to third in League Two after another inspiring performance lead by Wes Hoolahan. The midfielder set up the first and scored the second to complete the comeback against Harrogate Town.

Scottish Premiership

A late penalty for St. Mirren cancelled out Motherwell’s first half goal. The penalty was converted by Jamie McGrath which takes his tally up to five goals in all competitions. Another excellent performance from the Irish midfielder.

Scottish Cup

Jonathan Afolabi scored his second goal in as many games. His stoppage time goal meant the game went to extra time and Dundee took advantage by scoring two more goals to clinch the win against Bonnyrigg Rose of the Scottish Lowland League.

Stranraer striker Ruari Paton was also at the centre of the action as he scored the decisive winner in the dying moments against Kelty Hearts. The former Belvedere man now has 8 goals in 16 appearances this season.

January 10th

English FA Cup

Despite an early goal from Stephen McLoughlin, Mansfield Town bowed out of the competition after losing 2-1 to Cheltenham Town.

Matt Doherty and co avoided a cup upset by seeing off Marine FC with a comfortable 5-0 victory. Doherty’s volleyed effort in the first half rebounded to Spurs’ striker Vinicius who scored his second of the game.

Scottish Premiership

Rangers continued their unbeaten run this season with a win over Aberdeen. Irish winger Jonny Hayes assisted Aberdeen’s only goal.

January 11th

English FA Cup

Monday night saw two Irish youngster make their debuts for their respective teams. West Ham knocked out Stockport County and 18-year-old Mipo Odubeko was brought on for the final few minutes of the game. The tie finished 1-0 to the Hammers with Darren Randolph between the sticks to collect his second consecutive clean sheet.

Scottish Premiership

There was also a start for Shane Duffy at Celtic with 13 players self-isolating due to a COVID-related case within their camp. The second player of the night to earn their first team debut was Armstrong Oko-Flex, who played the final half hour of the game which finished 1-1 after a late Hibernian equalizer.

January 12th

English Premier League

Sheffield United finally got their first win of the Premier League campaign, beating 10 men Newcastle United thanks to a Billy Sharp penalty. John Egan and David McGoldrick played their part in the win whilst Ciaran Clark and Jeff Hendrick both featured for Newcastle. Enda Stevens missed the game through injury.

Robbie Brady started for Burnley in their defeat to Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men now move ahead of Liverpool and claim top spot in the league.

English Championship

In the second tier, Millwall scored a late equaliser to earn them an impressive draw against third place Bournemouth. Danny McNamara and Troy Parrott both started the game.

English League One

Eight goals were scored in Charlton Athletic’s clash with Rochdale, however the points were shared with the game ending 4-4. Irish full-back Jimmy Keohane set up Rochdale’s first of the night.

English Football League Trophy

Goals galore for the Irish lads in this round of the Football League Trophy. Peterborough United ran riot against fellow League One side Portsmouth. The cup tie finished 5-1 to Peterborough and Ireland U-21 international Jack Taylor scored the opener.

Aiden O’Brien and Aiden McGeady both found the net for Sunderland in their victory over Port Vale.

Lincoln City were also comfortable winners in their game against Accrington Stanley. This time it was Zach Elbouzedi’s time to shine. He scored the first of the night (and his second of the competition) just after the half hour mark before assisting Lincoln’s third in a 4-0 win.

And finally, there was also a goal for Paddy Madden but unfortunately for Fleetwood Town it would not be enough as they lost to Hull City after a stoppage time winner.

January 13th

English League Two

Two out of three of Mansfield Town’s goalscorers against Oldham Athletic were Irish. The first goal belonged to Harry Charsley, who rifled home his fifth of the season in all competitions. Mansfield’s second came from a Ryan Sweeney volley just inside the six yard box. A successful night for the Irish lads!

English Football League Trophy

Irish trio Shane Flynn, Darragh O’Connor and Ali Reghba were also in action for Leicester U-21’s in the Football League Trophy. They lost to Tranmere Rovers 4-2. Full-back Shane Flynn set up Leicester’s first of the night.