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NewWeekend action at home and abroad…18/04/2021

 

Sunday
The second FA Cup Semi-Final between Leicester City and Southampton is set for Wembley Stadium at 6.30pm on Sunday afternoon with an experimental 4,000 crowd set to be in attendance. The ‘Saints’ include Will Ferry on their substitute bench.

There was Premier League action at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon with Manchester United defeating visitors Burnley by three goals to one. Jimmy Dunne was in the matchday squad but both Robbie Brady and Kevin Long remain on the ‘Clarets’ injury list.

The Scottish Cup Round of 16 clash between Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic ended in a two nil success for the hosts at Ibrox Park. Loanee Shane Duffy was not included in the ‘Hoops’ matchday squad. The loan move to Glasgow has certainly not worked out for the Derryman. 

There was a noon kick-off for the Championship meeting of Rotherham United and Birmingham City with Kieran Sadlier and Chiedozie Ogbenne unused on the host substitute bench while Scott Hogan was introduced from the visiting ‘Blues’ bench in added time as they ran out one nil victors.

Josh Cullen is on the RSC Anderlecht substitute bench for the  Belgian First Division match against Sint-Truidense VV at 5pm.

Saturday
First into Premier League action at 12.30pm on Saturday afternoon were relegation threatened Newcastle United and vibrant West Ham United who met in St James Park. The hosts included Ciaran Clark in their starting eleven with Jeff Hendrick unused on their substitute bench while Conor Coventry was an unused substitute for the visiting ‘Hammers’. The hosts ultimately won the contest by three goals to two following two calamitous errors by the visitors, one of which saw them reduced to ten men. They did fight back to level matters but swiftly conceded the third and winning goal. The late evening kick-off saw the relegation of Sheffield United confirmed as they suffered a one nil defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers. The ‘Blades’  included John Egan and Enda Stevens in their starting eleven.

Young Danny McNamara and his Millwall colleagues journied across London where they played out a scoreless draw with hosts Brentford in the Championship. Luton Town introduced James Collins from their substitute bench on 77 minutes to replace a colleague who had just been injured in an incident which resulted in a penalty kick. Collins then converted the penalty for the only goal and victory over near neighbours and promotion candidates Watford at Kenilworth Road. Nottingham Forest and Cyrus Christie  went down to a surprise two nil home defeat by Huddersfield Town and the veteran Richard Keogh. Relegation threatened Sheffield Wednesday and Keiren Westwood were held to a one all draw by Bristol City at Hillsborough where young Ciaran Brennan was an unused substitute for the ‘Owls’. Stoke City played out a scoreless draw with visitors Preston North End who included Alan Browne and fit again Greg Cunningham in their starting eleven while Sean Maguire was a 76th minute substitute but loanee Jayson Molumby remained unused on their substitute bench. Promotion play-off candidates Swansea City included loanee Conor Hourihane and Ryan Manning in their starting eleven as they recovered from a two goal deficit to earn a point from a two all draw with visitors Wycombe Wanderers. Daryl Horgan  was a 74th minute substitute for the visitors while Hourihane was withdrawn by the ‘Swans’ on 54 minutes. Norwich City whose promotion back to the Premier League was confirmed by earlier results today went down to a three one defeat by visitors AFC Bournemouth. Young Andrew Omobamidele was in the ‘Canaries’ starting eleven while Mark Travers was on the substitute bench for the visiting ‘Cherries’.

Promotion play-off chasers Lincoln City included Anthony Scully in their starting eleven and he scored  the only goal after 16 minutes for victory in their League One encounter at Bristol Rovers. Fellow play-off candidates Ipswich Town travelled to Charlton Athletic where Stephen Ward, and loanee Mark McGuinness both started in their scoreless draw. Alan Judge was excluded from the squad and will not play in the remainder of the season as he has now played 29 matches and one more would trigger an automatic one year renewal of his contract. Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness were in the Portsmouth squad which went down to a one nil defeat at MK Dons as they too seek promotion from this division. Manchester City loanee Gavin Bazunu was again confined to bench duty with Rochdale but Conor Grant, Eoghan O’Connell, Paul McShane and Jimmy Keohane all started the three one victory over visitors Accrington Stanley. Keohane scored the opening goal on 10 minutes while 88th minute substitute Conor Shaughnessy added the third in injury time. 

Joshua Kayode, given a three year contact by parent club Rotherham United earlier this week, was a 52nd minute substitute for loan club Carlisle United who played out a scoreless draw with visitors Port Vale in League Two. Fellow loanee Lee O’Connor was in the Tranmere Rovers side as they also played out a scoreless draw with visitors  Salford City. Another loanee Tyreik Wilson started for Walsall who went down to a two one defeat at Colchester United later today.

There were three Airtricity League Premier Division fixtures played this Saturday evening. Struggling Dundalk scored  a late equaliser to earn a point against joint leaders St Patrick’s Athletic in Oriel Park. Defending champions Shamrock Rovers scored in added time to defeat newly promoted Longford Town by two goals to one in Tallaght Stadium. Sligo Rovers scored the only goal to defeat Finn Harps in the Showgrounds. 

 

NewMore midweek action for Irish…16/04/2021


Friday
There was Premier League action in Goodison Park this Friday evening with Everton playing host to Tottenham Hotspur. Club Captain Seamus Coleman was introduced from the ‘Toffees’ substitute bench on sixty one minutes and immediately provided the assist for their second goal of the contest which ended in a two all draw. One again, Matt Doherty was absent from the visitors matchday squad.

Blackburn Rovers were without suspended captain Darragh Lenihan for their two one Championship victory over visitors Derby County for whom Louie Watson and Festy Ebosele were second half substitutes but Jason Knight was unused on the substitute bench.

Promotion chasing Peterborough United went joint top of League One with a three one victory over London Road visitors Northampton Town with Jack Taylor in central midfield for the victorious ‘Posh’.

Manager Jim Goodwin saw his St Mirren side progress to the Scottish Cup quarter-finals with a two one victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle. His fellow Irish quintet of Jamie McGrath, Conor McCarthy, Joe Shaughnessy, Jake Doyle-Hayes and Dylan Connolly were all in the starting eleven.

There was Airtricity League Premier Division action this Friday evening with Bohemian securing three points with a one nil victory over Waterford in the RSC while Derry City secured their first point of the season from a one all draw with Drogheda United in their Ryan McBride Bransywell Stadium.

All ten Airtricity League First Division clubs were in action this evening. Bray Wanderers went down to a two one home defeat in the Carlisle Grounds by Athlone Town. Cork City also suffered a home defeat, losing three one to Shelbourne. The points were shared by Galway United and newcomers Treaty United in a one all Eamonn Deacy Park draw. UCD crushed near neighbours Cabinteely by four goals to one in The Bowl. Wexford suffered a two one defeat by visitors Cobh Ramblers in Ferrycarrig Park.

Tuesday
The Airtricity League Premier Division continued on Tuesday evening with Shamrock Rovers defeating bottom side Derry City by two goals to nil at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

The Championship continued on Tuesday evening with promotion challengers AFC Bournemouth defeating their hosts Huddersfield Town by two goals to one. Mark Travers was an unused substitute for the ‘Cherries’ while both Gavin Kilkenny and Southampton loanee Shane Long were not in the matchday squad. The veteran Richard Keogh was in defence for the hosts. Keiren Westwood returned to the Sheffield Wednesday side as they wend down to a two nil defeat by visitors Swansea City who included Aston Villa loanee Conor Hourihane and Ryan Manning in their starting eleven. 

League One promotion chasers Portsmouth included Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness in their starting eleven for the scoreless draw at Crewe Alexandra. Stephen Ward, Alan Judge and Aaron Drinan started for Ipswich Town who suffered a three nil defeat at AFC Wimbledon but all three were withdrawn shortly after the hour mark while Arsenal loanee Mark McGuinness remained unused on the substitute bench. Teenage goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, on loan at Rochdale from Manchester City, was again on the substitute bench for the visit of Swindon Town while U21 midfielder Conor Grant started an scored in their two one victory. Jimmy Keohane scored the other goal for the victors,

U21 international Tyreik Wright, on loan from Aston Villa, started for Walsall who defeated visitors Tranmere Rovers by one goal to nil. Glasgow Celtic loanee and fellow U21 international Lee O’Connor, was a 62nd minute substitute for the visitors in tonight’s League Two encounter.  

Monday
There were two Premier League contests completed on Monday evening with West Bromwich Albion playing host to Southampton at 6pm in the Hawthorns while Brighton & Hove Albion welcomed Everton to the AMEX Stadium at 8.15pm. The ‘Baggies’ Dara O’Shea had recovered from the ankle injury which forced his withdrawal after just 24 minutes of their five two victory at Chelsea on Saturday and started while two goal substitute Callum Robinson also started and was again on the scoresheet as his side cruised to a comfortable three nil victory. Ireland U21 midfielder/striker Will Ferry was an unused substitute for the visiting ‘Saints’. Aaron Connolly remains on the  injury list for Brighton & Hove Albion while Seamus Coleman started for the visiting ‘Toffees’ as the sides played out a scoreless draw.

Irish in weekend action…11/04/2021


Sunday
The Premier League continued at noon on Sunday with Burnley going down to a two one defeat by visitors Newcastle United. Injury ruled out Robbie Brady and Kevin Long while Jimmy Dunne was unused on the home substitute bench. Ciaran Clark started for the visitors with Jeff Hendrick introduced from the substitute bench for the final two minutes of the contest. West Ham United included Ademipo Onubeko and Conor Coventry on their substitute bench for the three two defeat of visitors Leicester City but Darren Randolph remains on the injury list. Tottenham Hotspur went down to a three one defeat by visitors Manchester United but the position of Matt Doherty is unclear and he was not included in the matchday squad. The 7pm kick-off saw John Egan and Enda Stevens in action for Sheffield United who went down to a three nil defeat by visitors Arsenal.

In the Belgian League, midfielder Josh Cullen was introduced from the RSC Anderlecht substitute bench on 67 minutes with his side trailing by one goal to nil at home to Club Bruges. Anderlecht recovered to score twice for victory.

Saturday
James McCarthy returned to action following injury and was a 59th minute substitute for Crystal Palace who went down to a four one defeat by Chelsea in the Premier League at 5.30pm this afternoon.

Shane Duffy was again confined to the substitute bench for loan club Glasgow Celtic who crushed visitors Livingston by six goals to nil in the Scottish Premiership this Saturday afternoon. St Mirren Manager Jim Goodwin has been lauding the performances of midfielder Jamie McGrath, suggesting he ought to be considered for a call up to the Ireland senior squad and the Dubliner had another opportunity to stake a claim when his club visited Motherwell this afternoon. It was not to be a happy afternoon for the Dubliner who missed  a penalty in their one nil defeat.

First into Championship action were Millwall who welcomed Swansea City to the New Den where Danny McNamara was in opposition to Conor Hourihane and Ryan Manning. The visitors from Wales secured a three nil victory. Southampton loanee Shane Long together with goalkeeper Mark Travers remained on the substitute bench for AFC Bournemouth who defeated visitors Coventry City by four goals to one. Bristol City played out a scoreless draw with Chris Hughton‘s Nottingham Forest and Cyrus Christie at Ashton Gate. Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy saw his side recover from their midweek drubbing with a two all draw against visitors Blackburn Rovers and Darragh Lenihan. Derby County included Jason Knight, Festy Ebosele and Louie Watson on their substitute bench with the latter two introduced in the 84th minute of their one nil defeat by visitors Norwich City and teenage centre back Andrew Omobamidele. Preston North End introduced Alan Browne and Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Jayson Molumby from their substitute bench during the second half of their dismal five nil defeat by visitors Brentford. QPR defeated Sheffield Wednesday, for whom Keiren Westwood and Ciaran Brennan were unused substitutes, by four goals to one at Loftus Road while Daryl Horgan was an unused substitute for Wycombe Wanderers who went down to a three one defeat by visitors Luton Town for whom James Collins started. 

In League One Fleetwood Town defeated visitors Rochdale by one goal to nil. The ‘Dale’ included Conor Grant in their starting eleven alongside Eoghan O’Connell, Conor Shaughnessy and Jimmy Keohane while Manchester City loanee Gavin Bazunu and the veteran Paul McShane were unused on the substitute bench. Ipswich Town included Stephen Ward and Aaron Drinan in their starting eleven with Alan Judge and Tottenham Hotspur loanee Troy Parrott late substitutes while Arsenal loanee Mark McGuinness remained on their substitute bench for the scoreless draw with visitors MK Dons. Lincoln City introduced Anthony Scully from their substitute bench on 72 minutes and he scored within three minutes and nine minutes later created the equaliser in their two all draw with visitors Blackpool while Portsmouth duo Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness both completed the full two one home defeat by visitors Burton Albion for whom Kieran O’Hara was an unused substitute. Swindon Town suffered  a three nil defeat by visitors Peterborough United who were without goalkeeper Christy Pym who has torn a side muscle and is likely to miss the remainder of the season but midfielder Jack Taylor was in their starting eleven. 

League Two
featured the meeting of Scunthorpe United and Tranmere Rovers who included Glasgow Celtic loanee Lee O’Connor in their starting eleven as the sides played out a scoreless draw. Aston Villa loanee Tyreik Wright was in the Walsall side for the two one victory over visitors Forest Green Rovers 

In the Scottish ChampionshipDundee introduced Glasgow Celtic loanee Jonathan Afolabi from their substitute bench on 59 minutes of their one all draw with visitors Greenock Morton.

 

 

This weekend in the Airtricity League…10/04/2021


The Airtricity League Premier Division continued on Friday afternoon with St Patrick’s Athletic defeating bottom side Derry City by two goals to nil in Richmond Park. Dundalk went down to a one nil defeat by visitors Bohemian in Oriel Park.

All three Saturday contests kicked off at 6pm with Finn Harps coming from behind to defeat visitors Waterford by two goals to one in Finn Park. Longford Town crashed to a four nil home defeat by fellow promoted side Drogheda United in Bishopsgate while Sligo Rovers and defending champions Shamrock Rovers played out a one all draw in the Showgrounds.

Four Airtricity League First Division contests were completed this Friday evening with the scheduled  contest between Cabinteely, the only side with maximum points, and Galway United postponed due to a positive corona virus test in the home squad. Cork City suffered a one nil defeat by visitors Athlone Town in Turner’s Cross while  Shelbourne defeated Wexford with the only goal in Tolka Park. Newcomers Treaty United played out a one all draw with visitors Cobh Ramblers in the Markets Field and the meeting of UCD and near neighbours Bray Wanderers ended scoreless in The Bowl. 

Senior Women complete friendly internationals…11/04/2021

 

Our senior women suffered another one nil defeat, on this occasion by Belgium, in this evening’s second friendly international played at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels. The hosts are FIFA Ranked 17 and presented the difficult challenge to which Ireland Head Coach Vera Pauw wished to expose her squad. The hosts scored the only goal after 14 minutes, one which really should have been prevented, but thereafter for the most part the Irish back three, excellently marshalled by Diane Caldwell, stood firm. Ireland did create a number of scoring opportunities but rather like our senior men, the ability to convert those chances is still a bridge too far. The signs though are promising and we should look to the future with some optimism. Heather Payne worked tirelessly on the right flank and earned the Irish ‘Player of the Match’ nomination.

Team:  Courtney Brosnan; Claire O’Riordan, Diane Caldwell, Claire Walsh; Alli Murphy, Ruesha Littlejohn, Megan Connolly, Denise O’Sullivan, Katie McCabe(c); Heather Payne, Kyra Carusa
Substitutes:
Aine O’Gorman for Murphy 46′
Emily Whelan for Payne 67′
Ellen Molloy for Carusa 67′
Hayley Nolan for Connolly 74′
Rianna Jarrett for Littlejohn 82′
Louise Quinn for Walsh 82′

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Our senior women went down to a one nil defeat by Denmark in this evening’s friendly international played in Tallaght Stadium. The FIFA Ranked 14 visitors were just that bit better, particularly in possession, than Ireland who are ranked at 31 on the FIFA standings but the contest, which was quite competitive, will have proved a very useful exercise for Head Coach Vera Pauw in the development of the team. The greater technical ability of the visitors was quite evident in the first half but Ireland offered a much improved challenge in the second period. The long distance shot from captain Katie McCabe which cannoned off the crossbar was quite a highlight and she came close with another effort from a free kick. Goalkeeper Grace Moloney will be disappointed with the Danish goal conceded after just nine minutes but thereafter she performed very well. The back three of Niamh Fahey, Louise Quinn and Diane Caldwell defended stoutly while midfielder Jamie Finn belied her youthfulness with an excellent performance which earned her the Irish ‘Player of the Match’ accolade.

Team:  Grace Moloney; Niamh Fahey, Louise Quinn, Diane Caldwell; Keeva Keenan, Jamie Finn, Megan Connolly, Denise O’Sullivan, Katie McCabe(c); Heather Payne, Amber Barrett
Substitutes:
Emily Whelan for Payne 46′
Rianna Jarrett for Barrett 61′
Ellen Molloy for Connolly 61′
Aine O’Gorman for Keenan 72′

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Republic of Ireland Women’s Head Coach Vera Pauw has selected a 25 player squad for two friendly internationals this week. Ireland welcome Denmark to Tallaght Stadium at 6.30pm this Thursday evening and will then travel to the King Badouin Stadium in Brussels where they will face Belgium at 6.30pm on Sunday evening.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Eve Badana(DLR Waves), Courtney Brosnan(West Ham United), Marie Hourihane(SC Braga), Grace Moloney(Reading)

Defenders: Diane Caldwell(North Carolina Courage), Niamh Fahey(Liverpool), Niamh Farrelly(Glasgow City), Keeva Keenan(Glasgow Celtic), Aine O’Gorman(Peamount United), Claire O’Riordan(MSV Duisberg), Louise Quinn(Fiorentina), Claire Walsh(Peamount United) 

Midfielders: Megan Connolly(Brighton & Hove Albion), Jamie Finn(Shelbourne), Ruesha Littlejohn(Birmingham City), Katie McCabe(Arsenal), Ellen Molloy(Wexford WFC), Alli Murphy(London City Lionesses), Hayley Nolan(London City Lionesses), Denise O’Sullivan(North Carolina Courage), Emily Whelan(Shelbourne)

Forwards: Amber Barrett(FC Koln), Kyra Carusa(HB Hoge), Rianna Jarrett(Brighton & Hove Albion), Heather Payne(Florida State University)

Overseas midweek action…09/04/2021


Friday
Midfielder Aaron McEneff was in Scottish Championship action with Heart of Midlothian who crushed bottom side Alloa Athletic by six goals to nil at Tynecastle on Friday evening. McEneff scored the fifth goal and the ‘Jam Tarts’ need just two more points to secure the Championship and promotion.

Tuesday
Striker Scott Hogan started for Birmingham City but was withdrawn on 60 minutes as his side played out a scoreless draw at Brentford in the Championship this Tuesday evening.  Also in a starting role was eighteen year old central defender Andrew Omobamidele for Norwich City who crushed Huddersfield Town and veteran centre back Richard Keogh by seven goals to nil at Carrow Road.

U21 striker Jonathan Afolabi was a 68th minute substitute for Dundee who secured a three nil Scottish Championship victory at Ayr United with Afolabi scoring the second goal just six minutes after his introduction.

Easter Weekend action overseas…04/04/2021


The Premier League continued on Monday evening with Everton being held to a one all draw by visitors Crystal Palace in Goodison Park. Seamus Coleman started for the hosts while former ‘Toffee’ James McCarthy failed a late fitness test for the ‘Eagles’. There was an 8.15pm kick-off set for the meeting of Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United at Molineaux which ended in a three two victory for the visiting ‘Hammers’. Teenage striker Ademipo Odubeko was unused on the visiting ‘Hammers’ substitute bench.

The Championship resumed on Monday afternoon with Blackburn Rovers and Darragh Lenihan going down to a two nil defeat by visitors AFC Bournemouth for whom Southampton loanee Shane Long and Mark Travers were unused on their substitute bench. James Collins was a 70th minute substitute for Luton Town and scored but to no avail as Barnsley scored twice at Kenilworth Road. Loanee Cyrus Christie started for Nottingham Forest who defeated visitors QPR by three goals to one. Jason Knight started for Derby County but was withdrawn on 62 minutes as they went down to a three one defeat at Reading. Young Louie Watson was unused on the bench for the ‘Rams’. Daryl Horgan was a very late substitute for Wycombe Wanderers who defeated hosts Rotherham United by three goals to nil. James McClean was a 76th minute  substitute for Stoke City who went down to a two one home defeat by Millwall who included Danny McNamara in their starting eleven. Conor Hourihane and Ryan Manning both started for Swansea City who went down to a one nil defeat by visitors Preston North End for whom loanee Jayson Molumby was an 80th minute substitute. Keiren Westwood returned to the Sheffield Wednesday substitute bench alongside Ciaran Brennan as the ‘Owls’ crushed visitors Cardiff City by five goals to nil at Hillsborough in the late kick-off.

London Road hosted the League One clash of promotion challengers Peterborough United and Sunderland which ended in a one all draw. Fit again Jack Taylor fit again started for the hosts who also included goalkeeper Christy Pym in their starting eleven while the veteran Aiden McGeady started and scored the equaliser for the visiting ‘Makems’ for whom Aiden O’Brien was a 71st minute substitute. Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness started for Portsmouth who secured  a one nil victory at Wigan Athletic. The meeting of Rochdale and Ipswich Town at the Crown Oil Arena smacked of an Irish Convention with the hosts including Eoghan O’Connell, Jimmy Keohane, Conor Grant and Conor Shaughnessy in their starting eleven with loanee Gavin Bazunu and veteran Paul McShane on their substitute bench while the visiting ‘Tractor Boys’ include loanee Troy Parrot together with Alan Judge and Stephen Ward in their starting eleven with loanee Mark McGuinness and Aaron Drinan on their substitute bench as the sides played out a scoreless draw.

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There was no direct Irish involvement in the Premier League meeting of Southampton and Burnley which kicked off at noon on SundayWill Ferry for the hosts and Jimmy Dunne with the visiting ‘Clarets’ were both unused substitutes in a contest which saw the ‘Saints’ recover from a two goal deficit to secure a three two victory. Burnley were without recent injury victims Robbie Brady and Kevin Long while long term injury casualties Michael Obafemi and Will Smallbone were absent for the ‘Saints’.  Later in the day,  Newcastle United came from behind to secure a deserved two all draw with Tottenham Hotspur at St James Park where Ciaran Clark and Jeff Hendrick were unused substitutes.

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Premier League high flyers Chelsea suffered a shock five two home defeat by relegation threatened West Bromwich Albion early on Saturday afternoon. Dara O’Shea suffered an injury which forced his withdrawal after 24 minutes and his replacement was an injury victim just twelve minutes later and was replaced by Callum Robinson. This surprise substitution proved positive with Robinson scoring twice to improve his overall Premier League goals total to five, all of them coming against Chelsea. Relegation bound Sheffield United went down to a two one defeat at Leeds United with Enda Stevens included in their starting eleven while John Egan returned to action following his injury absence as a 77th minute substitute.