Irish set for midweek action…26/02/2021

The Championship continued on Friday evening with Derby County and  Nottingham Forest playing out a one all draw in Pride Park. The hosts included Jason Knight in their starting eleven while Louie Watson was an unused substitute. Cyrus Christie started for the  visitors and had a reasonably fine match but Knight made less impact for the hosts. Playing in an advanced position, much of the match passed him by although he did miss a golden scoring opportunity. His late switch to a holding midfield role did suit him much better.

Midfielder Aaron McEneff, who may be in line for a call-up to Stephen Kenny‘s next Ireland senior squad, retained his midfield starting position for Heart of Midlothian who were held to a one all draw at Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Championship this evening. 

Tottenham Hotspur included Matt Doherty in their starting eleven  for the home leg of their Europa League Round of 32 match with Austrian side Wolfsberger AC. The London side secured a four one first leg victory at a neutral venue in Budapest last week and completed the rout this evening with a four nil victory. Doherty provided the assist for the opening goal and was energetically involved which earned him an early yellow card and a later severe  warning which prompted his withdrawal on 74 minutes.

Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood was not involved with Sheffield Wednesday for their three nil Championship defeat at Brentford this Wednesday evening. New Ireland goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely was keeping a keen eye on Westwood as he was the only one of our frontline keepers in first team action but that has once again stalled. Conor Hourihane started and provided the assist for the only goal enabling Swansea City to defeat visitors Coventry City at the Liberty Stadium. Ryan Manning was an unused substitute for the victorious hosts. Shane Long was a half time substitute and scored for AFC Bournemouth who went down to a two one defeat by Mick McCarthy‘s Cardiff City at the Vitality Stadium. Goalkeeper Mark Travers was an unused substitute for the defeated ‘Cherries’. Preston North End, who were seeking to recover from their weekend trouncing at Cardiff City, played out a scoreless draw with visitors QPR at Deepdale. Alan Browne and Greg Cunningham both started for the ‘Lilywhites’ with Jayson Molumby unused on the substitute bench. Browne had a disappointing error strewn game but Cunningham was quite impressive at left back and may yet get a recall to the international fold.

The Championship meeting of Birmingham City and leaders Norwich City ended in a three one victory for the visiting ‘Canaries’. Scott Hogan started for the hosts while Adam Idah was introduced from the visitors substitute bench for the final seven minutes. Jason Knight who turned twenty last week started for Derby County who defeated visitors Huddersfield Town by two goals to nil at Pride Park. Louie Watson, who reaches the same twenty milestone in June, replaced Knight for the final few minutes. The visitors included the veteran Richard Keogh in their side. Kenilworth Road hosted the meeting of Luton Town and Millwall which ended in a one all draw. James Collins was an 84th minute substitute for the hosts while Danny McNamara was unused on the ‘Lions’ bench. Long term injury absentee Kieran Sadlier returned to action with Rotherham United on Saturday last and was introduced in the 80th minute of their one nil defeat by visitors Nottingham Forest who included Cyrus Christie in their starting eleven at the Aesseal New York Stadium. 

There was significant League One action tonight with Peterborough United climbing to the summit of the League Table following a three nil victory at Plymouth Argyle where Jack Taylor continued his good form and scored the third goal. Ipswich Town secured a one nil victory at Hull City where Tottenham Hotspur loanee Troy Parrott and Alan Judge started for the Tracto0r Boys’. Anthony Scully and pre-match leaders leaders Lincoln City were held to a two all draw by visitors Swindon Town. Ronan Curtis and new international declaree Marcus Harness both started  for Portsmouth who secured  a one nil victory at Oxford United. The ‘Us’ included another recent declaree Mark Sykes in their starting eleven alongside QPR loanee Olamide Shodipo

The Premier League continued on Monday evening with Brighton & Hove Albion welcoming Crystal Palace to the AMEX Stadium at 8pm where the visitors stunned their hosts with an added time winner after being completely outplayed by the hosts. Aaron Connolly remained unused on the home substitute bench while James McCarthy came through a late fitness test to earn a substitute role with the visitors. With the sides level at one each, McCarthy was introduced in the 90th minute and was involved in the move which led to the winning goal.