Irish in weekend action…14/03/2021

The Premier League South Coast meeting of Southampton and Brighton & Hove Albion kicked off at noon on Sunday at St Mary’s Stadium with teenager Will Ferry an unused substitute for the hosts who suffered  a two one defeat. Aaron Connolly missed out with a cracked rib which is expected to rule him out of the Ireland squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. In the aftermath of the departure of manager Chris Wilder, Enda Stevens and his Sheffield United colleagues travelled to face Leicester City where they suffered a crushing five nil defeat. Matt Doherty started for Tottenham Hotspur who went down to a two one defeat at North London rivals Arsenal. The late kick-off saw Manchester United defeat visitors West Ham United by one goal to nil. The ‘Hammers’ included Ademipo Odubeko and Conor Coventry on their substitute bench. 

The return from injury of Kieran Westwood provides Ireland manager Stephen Kenny with an experienced goalkeeping option in the absence of regular custodian Darren Randolph. Westwood started for Sheffield Wednesday who went down to a two one defeat by Championship leaders Norwich City at Hillsborough. Teenage defender Ciaran Brennan was  included on the ‘Owls’ substitute bench.

The 2021 EFL Trophy Final between Sunderland and Tranmere Rovers at  Wembley Stadium this Sunday afternoon went the way of the ‘Makems’ with Aiden McGeady providing the assist for the only goal early in the second half. Both Aiden O’Brien of the ‘Makems’ and Glasgow Celtic loanee Lee O’Connor of the ‘Super White Army’ were missing from their respective matchday squads.

Dara O’Shea started with Callum Robinson an unused substitute for West Bromwich Albion who went down to a one nil Premier League defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. Seamus Coleman was a 73rd minute substitute for Everton who suffered a two one defeat by visitors Burnley for whom Robbie Brady was a 66th minute substitute while Kevin Long and Jimmy Dunne remained on the bench. Both Brady and Coleman were quite involved during their period on the pitch.

Luton Town went down to a one nil home defeat by promotion chasing Swansea City in the CHampionship early this afternoon. The visitors included Conor Hourihane and Ryan Manning in their starting eleven with Hourihane opening the scoring the winning goal after just three minutes. Barnsley secured  a three two success at AFC Bournemouth who included Southampton loanee Shane Long in their starting eleven with goalkeeper Mark Travers unused on the substitute bench. Jason Knight started and Louie Watson replaced him on the hour mark as  Derby County went down to a one nil defeat by visitors Millwall. Nottingham Forest and Cyrus Christie played out a one all draw with visitors Reading at the City Ground while Wycombe Wanderers and Daryl Horgan defeated their visitors Preston North End by one goal to nil. Alan Browne and Sean Maguire started for the ‘Lilywhites’ while loanees Jayson Molumby was an unused substitute. Callum O’Dowda returned to action with Bristol City, after a lengthy injury absence, and scored with his first touch following his introduction from the substitute bench on 76 minutes. His side secured a three nil victory at Birmingham City for whom Scott Hogan started but was withdrawn on 68 minutes.  

Ipswich Town include Tottenham Hotspur loanee Troy Parrott together with Alan Judge in their starting eleven for the League One contest with visitors Plymouth Argyle and Parrott scored  his first goal in senior football after just four minutes, which proved to be the winner. Anthony Scully was a half-time substitute for Lincoln City who went down to a two one home defeat by Rochdale who included goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, on loan from Manchester City, in their starting eleven

The delayed 2020 EFL Trophy Final between Portsmouth and Salford City took place at Wembley Stadium this Saturday afternoon and remained scoreless after extra-time. Both Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness were introduced from the ‘Pompey’ substitute bench on 45 minutes. The Trophy went North with Salford City, for whom Richie Towell was a starter, winning the penalty shoot-out on a four two score line.

Glasgow Celtic loanee Jonathan Afolabi was an unused substitute for Dundee in their two nil Scottish Championship victory over visitors  Arbroath while Aaron McEneff started for leaders Heart of Midlothian who defeated visitors Ayr United by two goals to nil at Tynecastle.