English Premier League
Shane Duffy was left out of Brighton’s squad for their clash with Man City and the London club shipped four goals in a 4-1 defeat… a coincidence?
Seamus Coleman’s Everton suffered a shock 5-2 defeat to Watford. Both Nathan Collins and Ciaran Clark added another 90 minutes to their tally as both Burnley and Newcastle United earned a point in their respective fixtures. Fellow Irish centre-half Andrew Omobamidele was given his first bit of Premier League action since his start against Arsenal at the beginning of September. He played the final 20 minutes in an embarrassing 7-0 defeat for Norwich City against Chelsea.
Michael Obafemi is finally off the mark for Swansea City following his stop-start beginning to life in the Championship. The young striker latched onto a fine through ball from Ryan Manning before slipping the ball under the Birmingham City keeper. Unfortunately for the Swans, Birmingham scored a decisive winner five minutes later to make it 2-1.
Elsewhere Darragh Lenihan’s performance in Blackburn Rovers’ 2-0 win over Reading earned him a place in the Championship ‘Team of the Week’.
Preston’s afternoon went from bad to worse when Alan Browne was shown a second yellow followed by a red for dissent in stoppage time of their 2-0 defeat to Blackpool. Richard Keogh started at the back for the home side.
Another week and another clean sheet for Mark Travers at Bournemouth. Gavin Kilkenny’s performance last weekend meant he retained his place in midfield in the 3-0 win. At The Hawthorns, Jayson Molumby started his second successive game for West Brom who also were also on the right side of a 3-0 score-line.
In less positive news, Jason Knight missed out on Derby County’s clash with Coventry with a slight muscle problem.
English League One
James McClean scored his fourth goal of the season and his third in as many games as Wigan beat Wimbledon by two goals to nil. McClean’s well-taken effort sealed all three points for the Latics in the 54th minute.
Portsmouth’s Irish duo Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness were also amongst the goals in a 2-2 draw with Accrington Stanley. Curtis’ goal means he is now the joint highest scorer at Fratton Park since the turn of the century. A top achievement for the 25-year-old forward.
English League Two
Following on from his goal against Swindon Town last week, Liam Kelly bagged himself a goal and assist in a 3-2 victory over Sutton United. The midfielder set up their first before Corey O’Keefe nodded the ball down and Kelly slotted the ball home to make it 2-0 to the Dale. They held on for the win despite two late goals from Sutton.
Irish veterans Padraig Amond and Stephen Quinn were both involved in the action at Exeter, assisting the opening two goals for their sides, where the home team beat Mansfield Town 2-1.
Next to Scotland and the second division where Ireland U-21 striker Jonathan Afolabi scored his first goal of the season in Ayr United’s 1-1 draw with Arbroath. Afolabi has struggled for game time and has only made one start since his loan move to the Scottish Championship in the summer but will be hoping this goal will symbolize a change in fortunes for the rest of the season.
To Sunday’s action and we’re staying in Scotland. Connor Ronan scored the goal of the week after just three minutes in St Mirren’s game against Rangers. A goal that needs no description and was worthy of winning any game but unfortunately for Mirren, Rangers scored two goals in two minutes just before the half-time interval to wrap up the three points. Ronan’s performances up north will definitely be doing him no harm when it comes to his chances of an international call-up.
Jame McGrath was stretchered off in the same game but it is thought that he will only miss the next two domestic games with the next international window coming after that.
Scottish League One
It looked as if the game between Queen’s Park and Alloa Athletic was all over when Luca Connell scored in the 88th minute (his second of the campaign) to make it 3-2. However Alloa somehow managed to score two stoppage time goals to steal all three points. Nevertheless, Queen’s Park still remain top of the league on goal difference in their first season back in the third tier.
In our first trip to the Swedish top tier this season, there is only one man to talk about and that man is Zach Elbouzedi. His cross led to the only goal on Sunday as AIK beat IFK Norrkoping by one goal to nil. The 23-year-old winger has made a total of 15 appearances for the AIK this season, who currently occupy third spot in the league.
Will Smallbone made his long-awaited return from his ACL injury, coming on in the second-half in Southampton’s cup defeat to Chelsea. Shane Long also came on as a substitute and converted his penalty in the shoot-out.
Aiden McGeady also scored from the spot as Sunderland knocked out Championship side QPR on penalties.
Former Cork City and Sligo Rovers man Kieran Sadlier will take all of the headlines from Wednesday’s games after he scored a second-half hat-trick for Rotherham United against Manchester City’s U-21 side in the EFL Trophy. Sadlier completed his hat-trick with a sublime free-kick in the 90th minute, whilst he also set up their first goal in the emphatic win.
MK Dons lost to Aston Villa’s U-21 side in the same competition. Troy Parrott however did get himself on the scoresheet with a powerful strike in the 16th minute and also played his part in their second goal with a clever backheel which set the attack in motion.
In Wednesday’s Carabao Cup games, Nathan Collins started his third consecutive game for Burnley in a 1-0 loss to Spurs. Matt Doherty returned from injury to take a seat on the Spurs’ bench.
Meanwhile Aaron Connolly and Shane Duffy both started for Brighton who failed to progress to the next round, losing out on penalties to Leicester City.
Unfortunately, illness kept Caoimhín Kelleher out of the Liverpool starting eleven in their 2-0 win over Preston.
The final piece of Irish action came in Scotland where St Mirren came from two goals down to draw with Motherwell. Connor Ronan claimed the assist for the first goal in the comeback.