Irish set for Saturday afternoon action…13/04/2019

Premier League
Chris Hughton’s Brighton & Hove Albion find themselves on nervous ground following their crushing five nil home Premier League defeat by AFC Bournemouth at the Amex Stadium this Saturday afternoon. Their defence, which included Shane Duffy, was torn to shreds by the visitors, a sharp contrast to their resilient performance against Manchester City in last weekend’s FA Cup semi-final. They now sit just above the relegation positions and play host to Cardiff City on Tuesday evening next in a crucial encounter. Burnley further eased  their relegation fears with a two nil victory over Cardiff City at Turf Moor where Jeff Hendrick completed the full ninety minutes with Robbie Brady, Kevin long and Stephen Ward unused on the substitute bench while AFC Bournemouth loanee Harry Arter started, with Greg Cunningham an unused substitute for the visiting ‘Bluebirds’.
Relegated Fulham defeated visitors Everton and Seamus Coleman by two goals to nil at Craven Cottage where Cyrus Christie was a sixty fifth minute substitute. Shane Long was introduced from the  Southampton bench on sixty one minutes and ten minutes later scored in their three one victory over defeated Cup semi-finalists Wolverhampton Wanderers for whom Matt Doherty was substituted after sixty minutes at St Mary’s Stadium.

Championship promotion hopefuls Aston Villa and Bristol City met at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon with Conor Hourihane and Glenn Whelan both starting for the hosts but Callum O’Dowda remains an injury casualty for the visitors. The ‘Villians’ prevailed by two goals to one with Hourihane again on the scoresheet. Stuttering Derby County and Richard Keogh defeated relegation bound Bolton Wanderers and Luca Connell by four goals to nil at Pride Park while relegation was confirmed for Alan Judge and Ipswich Town as they could only manage a one all draw with visitors Birmingham City. Middlesbrough and Darren Randolph quelled their recent slide with victory at Bolton on Tuesday evening and maintained their winning form with the only goal at home to Hull City. Nottingham Forest and Daryl Murphy slipped further out of promotion contention following their two one defeat by visitors Darragh Lenihan and Derrick Williams with Blackburn Rovers. Sheffield United continued their stuttering form as they were held to a one all draw by Bramall Lane visitors Millwall. John Egan, Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick all started but Aston Villa loanee Scott Hogan was an unused substitute. The ‘Blades’ misery was further compounded by the late dismissal of Egan for a penalty area handball offence. Derby County loanee Alex Pearce started for the ‘Lions’ while Aiden O’Brien was a very late substitute with Shaun Williams an unused substitute. James McClean was in action for Stoke City who were held to a two all draw by visitors Rotherham United for whom Anthony Forde and Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Richie Towell both started. Alan Browne started for  Preston North End in their four one defeat at West Bromwich Albion while Callum Robinson and Sean Maguire were introduced from the substitute bench around the half-time period. The late kick-off saw second place Leeds United score the only goal to defeat Sheffield Wednesday and Keiren Westwood at Elland Road.

League One
The Valley hosted a seminal League One contest between Charlton Athletic and Luton Town on Saturday afternoon. West ham United loanee Josh Cullen maintained his sparkling form for the host ‘Addicks’ in their three one victory over the ‘Hatters’ for whom striker James Collins, named ‘Player of the Year’ by his League One peers last week, was absent through suspension. Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Aaron Connolly was introduced on sixty eight minutes for the visitors. Fellow promotion challengers Portsmouth and Ronan Curtis secured a four one victory over Fratton Park visitors Rochdale. Aiden McGeady was a sixty fourth minute substitute for Sunderland while Burnley loanee Jimmy Dunne was unused on the substitute bench as the ‘Makems’ went down to a stunning five four Stadium of Light defeat by visitors Coventry City.

Scottish Cup
The Scottish Cup semi-final between Heart of Midlothian and Inverness Caledonian Thistle kicked off in Hampden Park at 12.15pm this Saturday afternoon. The ‘Jam Tarts’ included Jake Mulraney and Aiden Keena in their starting eleven while Colin Doyle and Leeds United loanee Conor Shaughnessy were unused on the substitute bench as they cruised to a three nil victory. Former underage international Aaron Doran started for vanquished ICT. The second semi-final between Aberdeen and Glasgow Celtic is set for Hampden Park at 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon.