Midweek cup and league action…18/12/2020

There was Championship action on Friday evening with Preston North End defeating visitors Bristol City with the only goal at Deepdale. Alan Browne and Sean Maguire both started for the hosts with young Adam O’Reilly an unused substitute with Callum O’Dowda prominent for the defeated ‘Robins’.

Portsmouth leap frogged Hull City at the summit of League One with a two nil victory at the KCOM Stadium. Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness started for ‘Pompey’ as did Ireland eligible defender Sean Raggett who gave an excellent performance.

The Premier League featured Aston Villa play out a scoreless draw with visitors Burnley this Thursday evening. Conor Hourihane was unused on the substitute bench for the hosts while Robbie Brady started for the visitors with Kevin Long an unused substitute. The 8pm kick-off saw beleaguered Sheffield United go down to a three two Bramall Lane defeat by visitors Manchester United. John Egan, Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick all started for the ‘Blades’ with McGoldrick scoring both their goals.

Newcastle United included Ciaran Clark and Jeff Hendrick in their starting eleven for the meeting with Leeds United at Elland Road and they both scored but it was not enough as the ‘Magpies’ conceded three late goals for a five two defeat. Aaron Connolly was an unused substitute for Brighton & Hove Albion who played out a scoreless draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage. Caoimhin Kelleher was on the Liverpool substitute bench for their two one victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield but Matt Doherty was not in the visitors matchday squad.

Jason Knight was in the Derby County side which earned their first home win of this Championship season with a two nil victory over visitors Swansea City for whom Ryan Manning was a second half substitute. Weekend hat-trick hero James Collins suffered disappointment as his Luton Town went down to a one nil defeat at Middlesbrough. Blackburn Rovers included Darragh Lenihan in their starting eleven for their two one victory over visitors Rotherham United. Teenage defender Andrew Omobamadele was again on the Norwich City substitute bench for their two one victory at Reading.

St Mirren inflicted a shock three two defeat on Glasgow Rangers in the quarter-final of the Scottish League Cup to end their 27 match unbeaten record. The visitors took an early lead but Jamie McGrath equalised from the penalty spot just before the half-time break. He then gave them the lead eight minutes into the second half but the visitors equalised in the 88th minute and extra-time looked very much on the cards, but no, Corkman Conor McCarthy popped up with the winner two minutes into added time. McGrath and McCarthy were joined in the starting eleven by fellow Irishmen Joe Shaughnessy, Dylan Connolly and Jake Doyle-Hayes while Sam Foley was an unused substitute. Manager Jim Goodwin from Waterford did get somewhat over excited in the closing minutes and was red carded.      

Beleaguered West Bromwich Albion emerged from the daunting Premier League task of meeting Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium with a one all draw on Tuesday evening. Dara O’Shea was in excellent form at the heart of the ‘Baggies’ defence while Callum Robinson was an unused substitute.

Millwall loanee and U21 international Danny McNamara was an unused substitute for St Johnstone in their Scottish League Cup quarter-final assignment at Dunfermline. The visiting ‘Saints’ prevailed in a penalty shoot-out following a one all draw after extra-time.

First into Championship action at 5.30pm on Tuesday afternoon were e QPR and Stoke City who played out a scoreless draw at Loftus Road. Conor Masterson was unused on the home substitute bench while fellow U21 international defender Nathan Collins together with James McClean started for the visitors. Preston North End included Alan Browne and Sean Maguire in their starting eleven for the contest with Barnsley at Oakwell and Maguire opened the scoring after just two minutes. However it was not enough as the hosts scored twice for victory. Mark Travers and Gavin Kilkenny were unused substitutes for AFC Bournemouth who secured a one nil victory over visitors Wycombe Wanderers for whom Daryl Horgan was a 70th minute substitute. Ashton Gate hosted the meeting of Bristol City and Millwall which saw the visitors emerge victorious by two goals to nil. Callum O’Dowda was a 59th minute substitute for the ‘Robins’ while Tottenham Hotspur loanee Troy Parrott was an unused substitute for the ‘Lions’. Chris Hughton‘s Nottingham Forest secured a two nil victory over fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday at the City Ground. Cyrus Christie started for the victors but Harry Arter was an unused substitute.

U21 international Anthony Scully was in the Lincoln City side which suffered a disappointing one nil home defeat by Shrewsbury Town while Zak Elbouzedi was an unused substitute. Arsenal loanee and U19 international Mark McGuinness started for Ipswich Town together with veterans Alan Judge and Stephen Ward while U21 striker Aaron Drinan was a late substitute in their two one victory over visitors Burton Albion and Kieran O’Hara. Southampton loanee Warren O’Hora was in the MK Dons side which played out a one all draw with visitors Peterborough United and Jack Taylor. Portsmouth included Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness in their starting eleven for the scoreless draw with visitors Fleetwood Town.

U21 international Joshua Kayode, on loan at Carlisle United from Rotherham United, was in the side which secured  a one nil League Two victory over visitors Mansfield Town.