There has been significant Irish involvement in the unbroken week of Club action which followed the entry of Amazon Prime into the live broadcast market.
Ireland U21 captain Jayson Molumby was in Championship action with his loan club Millwall who played out a two all draw with Nottingham Forest at the New Den on Friday evening. Alex Pearce and Shaun Williams also started for the ‘Lions’ while Aiden O’Brien was introduced from the substitute bench on 78 minutes. Williams put the hosts in front on 15 minutes but the visitors equalised midway through the second half and took the lead with just two minutes remaining but O’Brien came to the rescue with the equaliser in the second minute of added time.
Brighton & Hove Albion included Aaron Connolly in their starting eleven while Shane Duffy was an 88th minute substitute in their two one Premier League victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this Thursday evening. The Sheffield United duo of John Egan and Enda Stevens started with David McGoldrick a 72nd minute substitute as, despite dominating much of the play, they went down to a two nil home defeat by visitors Newcastle United and Ciaran Clark at Bramall Lane. Callum Robinson was an unused substitute for the ‘Blades’.
The Premier League continued on Wednesday evening with Chelsea defeating visitors Aston Villa by two goals to one at Stamford Bridge. Conor Hourihane started for the visitors but was replaced after 58 minutes. Shane Long started with Michael Obafemi unused on the Southampton bench for the two one victory over visitors Norwich City. An exhaustive season to date continued for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Matt Doherty who defeated visitors West Ham United by two goals to nil at Molineaux.
The veteran Glenn Whelan may well be feeling the strain as, together with Jake Mulraney, he completed the full ninety minutes for Heart of Midlothian in their one all home draw with visitors Livingston at Tynecastle in the Scottish Premiership.
Crystal Palace, despite being reduced to ten men after just 19 minutes, scored the only goal midway through the second half to defeat visitors AFC Bournemouth at Selhurst Park in the Premier League this Tuesday night. James McCarthy was introduced from the substitute bench for the second half and played his part in a resilient performance. Jeff Hendrick started for Burnley in their four one home defeat by Manchester City while Robbie Brady, introduced from the bench on 75 minutes, scored the late goal for the ‘Clarets’. Kevin Long was again omitted from the matchday squad.
Goalkeeping loanee Kieran O’Hara was in action for Burton Albion who played out a one all draw with visitors Southend United in League One this Tuesday evening. The hosts went behind early on and had John Joe O’Toole dismissed after 33 minutes but recovered to equalise and earn a point with O’Hara in fine form.
Preston North End who have stumbled in recent weeks welcomed West Bromwich Albion to Deepdale on Monday evening for a Championship encounter and suffered bitter disappointment as they went down to a 90th minute penalty kick which television replays confirmed should not have been awarded. Sean Maguire was joined by captain Alan Browne, who missed the defeat at Hull City on Wednesday night, in their starting eleven and as a consequence of their injury crisis was selected in the right back position where he performed very well. Maguire, while showing occasional neat touches was not at his best, all too frequently being outmuscled or hitting misplaced passes.
Trevor Clarke started with Chiedoze Ogbene a 54th minute substitute for Rotherham United who travelled to non-league Solihull Motors in the second round of the FA Cup on Monday evening. The non-league hosts scored two early goals while Clarke was forced off through injury after 26 minutes. Solihull increased their lead after 62 minutes but Rotherham staged a magnificent recovery, scoring four times in the final 15 minutes to progress to the third round where they will host Hull City. Former Ireland underage international Gavin Gunning was in defence for the stunned hosts.
The Premier League continued on Sunday afternoon with Matt Doherty starting and scoring the equaliser for Wolverhampton Wanderers in their one all draw with visitors Sheffield United and their Irish quartet of John Egan, who had recovered from injury, Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick, all of whom started with Callum Robinson a late substitute. Conor Hourihane started for Aston Villa in their two all draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Heart of Midlothian suffered a crushing five nil defeat by Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish Premiership at Ibrox Stadium where Glenn Whelan and Aidy White both started with Jake Mulraney replacing the latter on 77 minutes. There was no place in the matchday squad for our U21 striker Aiden Keena.
Alan Judge was in the Ipswich Town side which drew one each at Coventry City in the second round of the FA Cup while Thomas O’Connor, our U21 defender on loan from Southampton, was in the Gillingham side which defeated Doncaster Rovers and Kieran Sadlier by three goals to nil at Priestfield.
First into action on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League were Newcastle United and Manchester City who played out a two all draw in St James Park where Ciaran Clark started in the middle of the back three for the ‘Magpies’. Later in the day Burnley went down to a two nil defeat by Crystal Palace at Turf Moor where Jeff Hendrick was joined in the ‘Clarets’ starting eleven by Robbie Brady but their was no place in the matchday squad for Kevin Long. Brady was withdrawn on 77 minutes while the visitors named James McCarthy on their substitute bench where he remained. Current leaders Liverpool defeated visitors Brighton & Hove Albion by two goals to one at Anfield where Aaron Connolly started and completed 76 minutes with Shane Duffy unused on the substitute bench. U21 midfielder Gavin Kilkenny was an unused substitute for AFC Bournemouth who went down to a three two defeat at Tottenham Hotspur. In the late kick-off Southampton came from behind to defeat visitors Watford by two goals to one. The ‘Saints’ had Michael Obafemi in their starting eleven with Shane Long replacing him after 57 minutes.
The Championship featured Birmingham City at home to Millwall where Daniel Crowley retained his starting role for the hosts while Jayson Molumby was in direct opposition for the visitors as the sides played out a one all draw. Brentford crushed Luton Town and James Collins by seven goals to nil at Griffin Park while Stoke City had James McClean back in their starting eleven following his suspension as they went down to a two one home defeat by Blackburn Rovers for whom Darragh Lenihan retained his position in defence. Midfielder Jason Knight was named on the Derby County bench for the one all draw with visitors QPR and Ryan Manning.
Goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara and his Burton Albion colleagues travelled to face Oldham Athletic in the second round of the FA Cup and scored the only goal to progress to the third round. Ronan Curtis started for Portsmouth but was substituted at half-time of their two one victory over non-league Altrincham at Fratton Park.