Irish in Midweek action…20/08/21


There was Championship action on Friday evening with Bristol City playing host to Swansea City in Ashton Gate. The visiting ‘Swans’ secured  the points with a one nil victory. Ireland manager Stephen Kenny was in attendance with Ryan Manning his watching brief. The surprise positioning of the Galway man in central defence was unlikely to have been of assistance to Kenny whose Ireland are well served in that area but the injury absence of Enda Stevens leaves a gap on the left side of defence.

Striker Ethon Varian, who turned 19 last week, started  the Scottish Championship fixture for Raith Rovers against visitors Dunfermline but the match was short lived with abandonment after just 14 minutes because of floodlight failure. Varian is on loan from Stoke City until January 2022.

 dismal defensive display by Shamrock Rovers in Estonia against Flora Tallinn  in the qualifying round first leg of the Europa Conference League may have cost them dearly as they crashed to a four two defeat. The ‘Hoops’ conceded twice in the first half but reduced the arrears before the break through Graham Burke and matters looked promising. However the careless concession of a third goal set them back. Hopes rose again in the closing stages with a fine goal from Liam Scales to reduce the arrears but within two minutes they once again conceded and now face an uphill, but not impossible, challenge in the second leg set for Tallaght Stadium next Thursday.

Aberdeen started without Jonny Hayes, who suffered injury at the weekend, for their Europa Conference League first leg contest in Azerbaijan against FK Qarabag but injury to his replacement forced the Dubliner into action after just 14 minutes as his side suffered  a one nil defeat. The ‘Dons’ will seek to overturn the scoreline when the sides meet at Pittodrie next week.

Matt Doherty started for a Tottenham Hotspur side showing eleven changes to the starting eleven from last weekend’s opening Premier League victory over Manchester City in tonight’s Europa Conference League first leg play-off defeat in Portugal by one goal to nil against Pacos de Ferreira.

Following his 15 minute cameo on Sunday,  James McCarthy was again introduced  for the final 15 minutes with Glasgow Celtic who defeated Dutch side AK Alkmaar by two goals to nil at Parkhead in the first leg of the Europa League qualifying play-off. 

There was more Championship action completed this evening with Birmingham City, for whom Scott Hogan was a 79th minute substitute,  going down to a two nil defeat by visitors AFC Bournemouth who included Mark Travers and Gavin Kilkenny in their starting eleven. Troubled Derby County named Louie Watson in their substitute bench for the visit to Hull City where they secured  a one nil victory. Darragh Lenihan was also be on the road as his Blackburn Rovers journied to Nottingham Forest and secured  a two one victory with Lenihan scoring the winning goal on 86 minutes. There was an 8pm kick-off at the Hawthorns where Dara O’Shea and Callum Robinson were in action with West Bromwich Albion who crushed visitors Sheffield United by four goals to nil with both O’Shea and Robinson on the scoresheet.

The Championship season continued this evening with Huddersfield Town defeating visitors Preston North End by one goal to nil. The ‘Lilywhites’ included Alan Browne in their starting eleven with  Sean Maguire a late substitute while Greg Cunningham was unused on the substitute bench. Millwall relegated Danny McNamara to their substitute bench for the New Den visit of Fulham which the ‘Cottagers’ won by two goals to one with McNamara introduced for the final ten minutes.  Peterborough United goalkeeper Christy Pym started against visitors Cardiff City, managed by Mick McCarthy, who included James Collins in their starting eleven. The hosts took a two goal lead but were pegged back with the ‘Blues’ scoring two late goals to earn a draw.  Ryan Manning was in action with Swansea City who went down to a three one defeat by visitors Stoke City who have confirmed that out of favour James McClean is available for transfer and is believed  to be on his way to former club Wigan Athletic. 

In League One, Sunderland included new signing Dennis Cirkin together with Aiden MaGeady in their starting eleven with Aiden O’Brien on their substitute bench for their one nil defeat at Burton Albion for whom goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara has not been involved this season to date.  Striker Anthony Scully started for Lincoln City who went down to a one nil defeat by visitors Bolton Wanderers at Sincil Bank.  Loanee Troy Parrott together with defender Warren O’Hora were in action with MK Dons who defeated visitors Charlton Athletic by two goals to one. Parrott was again on the scoresheet netting after 18 minutes. Chiedoze Ogbene and Joshua Kayode started with Kieran Sadlier 78th minute substitute for Rotherham United who secured  a one nil victory at Morecambe. Mark Sykes was relegated to the substitute bench but Luke McNally started for Oxford United who defeated visitors Crewe Alexandra by one goal to nil . Loanee Gavin Bazunu together with Ronan Curtis, Marcus Harness  and veteran Shaun Williams all retained their starting positions for Portsmouth who overcame visitors Shrewsbury Town with the only goal at Fratton Park. Daryl Horgan was a sixtieth minute substitute for Wycombe Wanderers who who played out a one all draw at Wigan Athletic where James McClean is believed  to have been in attendance. 

Summer signing Zak Elbouzedi was in action with his new Swedish Allsvenskan club AIK Solna who scored in the final minute to secure a one nil victory at IK Sirius this evening.