More overseas midweek action…19/02/2021

The Championship continued on Friday evening with Watford defeating Derby County by two goals to one at Vicarage Road. Jason Knight was in the visiting ‘Rams’ starting eleven but had a quiet game whilst being the recipient of several meaty challenges. Young Louie Watson was unused on the visiting substitute bench while veteran goalkeeper Rob Elliot was included on the host substitute bench.

Matt Doherty started for Tottenham Hotspur who travelled to Hungary for the Europa League Round of 32 first leg clash with Wolfsberger AC this afternoon and secured a comfortable four one victory. The Austrian side was forced to play their home leg at the Puskas Arena in Budapest as a result of Covid-19 regulations. The travelling London club also included midfielder Jamie Bowden who was named on the substitute bench and Dublin born left back Dennis Cirkin in their party but he did not make the matchday squad. Nineteen year old Dubliner Shane Flynn was an unused substitute for Leicester City who played out a scoreless draw against Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic. The home legs in both ties are set for next week.

Following the injury to John Egan, the poor form of Glasgow Celtic loanee Shane Duffy takes on even greater significance for Ireland manager Stephen Kenny who will be concerned that the Derry man was again relegated to the substitute bench for the one nil defeat of visitors Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership this evening.

Burnley included Kevin Long in their starting eleven for this evening’s one all Premier League draw with visitors Fulham at Turf Moor. Robbie Brady was introduced from the substitute bench after 40 minutes but was disappointing and was withdrawn on 65 minutes but may have been carrying an injury. Young Jimmy Dunne was unused on the substitute bench for the hosts. Seamus Coleman was introduced from the substitute bench for Everton after just 18 minutes as his side went down to a three one defeat by leaders Manchester City who have extended their lead at the summit to 10 points. 

Central defender Darragh Lenihan was in Championship action with Blackburn Rovers who went down to a two one defeat at Barnsley this Wednesday evening. After a series of bright performances, Danny McNamara has slipped down the pecking order with Millwall and was again on the substitute bench for the two nil victory over visitors Birmingham City and Scott Hogan at the New Den. Loanee Conor Hourihane started while Ryan Manning was an unused substitute for Swansea City who scored  the only goal for victory over Nottingham Forest and fellow loanee Cyrus Christie at the Liberty Stadium. Young Adam Idah was introduced from the substitute bench for the final two minutes of Norwich City’s  two nil victory over Coventry City at their temporary St Andrew’s Stadium base. AFC Bournemouth scored  a one nil success over visitors Rotherham United at the Vitality Stadium where loanee Shane Long and goalkeeper Mark Travers were unused on the substitute bench.

Preston North End failed to follow up their Friday Championship victory at Blackburn Rovers when Watford scored the only goal at Deepdale on Tuesday evening. The ‘Lilywhites’ included Alan Brown and loanee Jayson Molumby in their starting eleven while Greg Cunningham was an unused substitute. Stoke City were without Nathan Collins for their one nil victory over visitors Sheffield Wednesday who included Keiren Westwood in their starting eleven. Collins suffered injury in the closing moments of Saturday’s defeat at Norwich City and there are fears that he has sustained a metatarsal crack. James McClean was included in their starting eleven but was withdrawn on 77 minutes. Daryl Horgan and Wycombe Wanderers failed to follow their weekend success at Huddersfield Town with another positive performance when they went down to a two one defeat by Derby County at Adams Park. Jason Knight was in action with the victorious ‘Rams’ while Louie Watson was an unused substitute. The late kick-off at Kenilworth Road saw hosts Luton Town and James Collins go down to a two nil defeat by visitors Cardiff City who continued their upsurge in form following the appointment of new manager Mick McCarthy.

Southampton loanee Thomas O’Connor and fellow U21 international Jack Taylor were in direct opposition when Gillingham and Peterborough United locked League One horns at Priestfield where the visitors ran out three one victors. Goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, on loan from Manchester City, was in the Rochdale side which went down to a one nil defeat at Blackpool. Ronan Curtis was replaced by Marcus Harness at half-time by Portsmouth who went down to a three one defeat at Bristol Rovers. Portman Road hosted a scoreless draw between Ipswich Town and Northampton Town where the home side included loanees Mark McGuinness and Troy Parrott in their starting eleven with Alan Judge a 59th minute substitute while Peter Kioso started for the visitors.

The first semi-final in the 2021 EFL Trophy took place at Kassam Stadium where League One side Oxford United suffered an unexpected two nil defeat by League Two side Tranmere Rovers. The hosts named Mark Sykes and loanee Olamide Shodipo in their starting eleven with Anthony Forde a 56th minute substitute while another loanee Lee O’Connor played the midfield anchor role for the victors 

West Ham United defeated Sheffield United by three goals to nil in the Premier League this Monday evening. The Irish trio of John Egan. David McGoldrick and the fit again Enda Stevens all started for the visiting ‘Blades’. Egan suffered a serious looking injury in the 85th minute which will be of concern to Ireland manager Stephen Kenny while Stevens looked somewhat off the pace, not surprising perhaps given his his recent injury absence. McGoldrick was out of goal scoring luck on a number of occasions but his quality remains and the recent suggestion of a potential return to the international fold would be a positive if true. The host ‘Hammers’ included Mipo Odubeko and Conor Coventry on their substitute bench. Newcastle United went down to a two nil defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge where Ciaran Clark started for the visitors while Jeff Hendrick was suspended following his dismissal against Southampton last weekend.