NewIrish set for weekend action overseas…19/09/2021

Shane Duffy was in central defence while Aaron Connolly was an unused substitute for Brighton & Hove Albion who defeated visitors Leicester City by two goals to one in the Premier League  on Sunday afternoon. Matt Doherty was an unused substitute for Tottenham Hotspur who went down to a three nil defeat by visitors Chelsea at their London Stadium.

James McCarthy started in central midfield for Glasgow Celtic who went down to a one nil Scottish Premiership defeat at Livingston. Liam Scales was an unused substitute for the visitors.

Josh Cullen was in central midfield for RSC Anderlecht who secured a one nil Belgian First Division victory at Standard Liege.

Nathan Collins
was an unused substitute for Burnley who went down to a one nil  Premier League defeat by Arsenal at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon. Norwich City suffered  a three one defeat by visitors Watford at Carrow Road where Adam Idah was a futile 88th minute substitute while Andrew Omobamidele remained unused on the bench. Shane Long and Will Smallbone have both returned to training with Southampton this week but were not involved in today’s visit to Manchester City where the ‘Saints’ deservedly earned  a scoreless draw. 

Jamie McGrath and loan signing Connor Ronan were in the St Mirren side for their  Scottish Premiership visit to Easter Road where they played out a two all draw with their hosts Hibernian and Jake Doyle-Hayes with Joe Shaughnessy scoring an equaliser for the visitors in the 88th minute.

The early  Championship  kick-off featured Hull City in action against visitors Sheffield United who included John Egan and loanee Conor Hourihane in their starting eleven. The ‘Blades’ were successful by three goals to one with John Egan scoring twice during the second half from corner kicks delivered by Hourihane. Following their midweek defeat Cardiff City hosted AFC Bournemouth with Joel Bagan, James Collins and Mark McGuinness named on their substitute bench.  Mark Travers was in action with the visitors who scored  the only goal for victory. Bagan and Collins were introduced late in the second half but to no avail.  Jason Knight and fit again  Festy Ebosele started on the Derby County substitute bench for their two one victory over visitors Stoke City with Knight introduced to the action on 67 minutes. Ryan Manning and Michael Obafemi started for Swansea City who recovered from the concession of three goals in the opening twenty minutes to earn a three all draw at Luton Town. Loanee Conor Coventry was joined by Sam Szmodics on the substitute bench while Jack Taylor started for Peterborough United who defeated their visitors Birmingham City by three goals to nil. Both Coventry and Szmodics were introduced in the latter stages of the contest while Scott Hogan was an unused substitute for the visitors. Deepdale hosted the meeting of Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion with Sean Maguire starting for the ‘Lilywhites’ while Callum Robinson was a 69th minute substitute but loanee Jayson Molumby was unused on the visiting ‘Baggies’ substitute bench as the sides played out a one all draw.

James McClean was in the Wigan Athletic side which gained  a four one League One victory at Accrington Stanley this afternoon. Chiedoze Ogbene started for Rotherham United in their two nil success at Bolton Wanderers but was forced  off through injury at half-time. Loanee Troy Parrott was in the MK Dons side as they defeated their hosts Gillingham by four goals to one. Warren O’Hora and new signing Peter Kioso, who scored, were also in the starting eleven. Anthony Scully was in the Lincoln City side which suffered  a one nil defeat by visitors Ipswich Town. Loanee Gavin Bazunu and Ronan Curtis started for Portsmouth who went down to a two one defeat by visitors Cambridge United with Curtis scoring the ‘Pompey’ goal. Daryl Horgan started  for Wycombe Wanderers who defeated visitors Charlton Athletic and Harry Arter by two goals to one. 

Southampton loanee Will Ferry provided the assist for the only goal which earned Crawley Town the League Two points at Colchester United. Loanee Lee O’Connor was a 70th minute substitute for Tranmere Rovers  who defeated visitors Salford City by two goals to nil. Fellow loanee Tyreik Wright started for the visitors but was withdrawn through injury on 30 minutes.

Teenager Ethan Varian, on loan from Stoke City at Scottish Championship club Raith Rovers, provided  the assist for the only goal which earned his loan club the points at Greenock Morton. 



NewFAI Cup quarter-final night…17/09/2021

The four quarter-final ties in the 2021 FAI Cup were played this Friday evening and saw Bohemian overcome non-league Maynooth University Town by four goals to nil  in Dalymount Park while St Patrick’s Athletic defeated First Division basement side Wexford by three goals to nil in Richmond Park. The other First Division side UCD went down to a three two defeat by Waterford at the Bowl. There was huge drama in Ballybofey where the hosts Finn Harps, reduced to ten men, recovered from a three one deficit to secure a three all draw with visitors Dundalk and earn a replay in Oriel Park next week.    

NewIrish in midweek action overseas…17/09/2021

Struggling sides Newcastle United and Leeds United played out a quite entertaining one all draw in the Premier League at St James Park on Friday evening. Ciaran Clark was in action with the hosts while  Jeff Hendrick was an unused substitute. 

James McCarthy was a 56th minute substitute for Glasgow Celtic who went down to a four three defeat in Seville by Real Betis in their opening Europa League Group G contest on Thursday afternoon. New signing Liam Scales was named on the substitute bench for his first involvement with the senior side. Darren Randolph was included on the extended West Ham United substitute bench for their two nil victory over their hosts Dinamo Zagreb.

Matt Doherty and  his Tottenham Hotspur  colleagues  played out a two all draw with French side Rennes in the  Europa Conference League Group G at on Thursday afternoon.

Cardiff City included U21 left back Joel Bagan in their starting eleven with James Collins a half-time substitute and Mark McGuinness an unused substitute as the ‘Bluebirds’ went down to a one nil Championship defeat at Coventry City.  Ryan Manning started and Michael Obafemi was a 63rd minute substitute for Swansea City who were held to a scoreless draw by visitors Millwall.Tuesday

The Championship continued on Tuesday evening with AFC Bournemouth and Mark Travers defeating  QPR and unused substitute Jimmy Dunne by two goals to one in the Vitality Stadium. Reading defeated struggling Peterborough United by three goals to one . The visiting ‘Posh’ included loanee Conor Coventry in their starting eleven while Sam Szmodics and Jack Taylor were late substitutes. Sheffield United included John Egan in their starting eleven while loanee Conor Hourihane was a 78th minute substitute for their two all draw with visitors Preston North End for whom Alan Browne was an unused substitute. West Bromwich Albion included Callum Robinson in their starting eleven but he was withdrawn at half-time while loanee Jayson Molumby was an unused substitute for the scoreless draw with visitors Derby County for whom Jason Knight was in the starting eleven following his injury absence while U21 midfielder Louie Watson was an unused substitute.    

Fresh from his two goal and three assists weekend performance Anthony Scully and his League One Lincoln City colleagues played host to Rotherham United who include Chiedoze Ogbenne in their starting eleven as the sides played out a one all draw. U21 striker Joshua Kayode was an unused substitute for the visitors.

Everton, captained by Seamus Coleman, recovered from conceding the opening goal to defeat visitors Burnley by three goals to one at Goodson Park in the Premier League this Monday evening.

Zac Elbouzedi was in the starting eleven for AIK Solna who played out a scoreless draw at Mjallby AIF in the Swedish Allsvenskan this Monday evening.

NewAction in the Airtricity League…18/09/2021

Shamrock Rovers continued their push for successive Airtricity League Premier Division titles with a comfortable one nil victory over Sligo Rovers in the Showgrounds on Saturday evening.

There were two re-arranged fixtures played in the Airtricity League Premier Division earlier this week. Finn Harps went down to a two one defeat by Bohemian in Finn Park on Monday evening while Sligo Rovers defeated  Dundalk by two goals to one in the Showgrounds on Tuesday evening.

                        P  W  D  L   F  A   G/D  Pts 
Shamrock Rovers        26 17  5  4  43 20   23   56
St Patrick’s Athletic  27 15  5  7  46 32   14   50
Sligo Rovers           27 13  6  8  32 20   12   45
Derry City             26 10  8  8  33 31    2   38
Bohemian               24 11  4  9  39 28   11   37
Drogheda United        27 10  7 10  40 34    6   37
Finn Harps             27  9  6 12  29 37   -8   33
Waterford              27  9  2 16  23 45  -22   29
Dundalk                26  7  7 12  29 38   -9   28
Longford Town          27  2  8 17
  19 48  -29   14

Club action resumes following International break…12/09/2021


Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher was an unused substitute for Liverpool in their three nil  Premier League  victory over Leeds United at Elland Road this afternoon. 

Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City travelled to face Chris Hughton’s Nottingham Forest in the Championship on Sunday afternoon. The visiting ‘Bluebirds’ included James Collins and U21 defender Joel Bagan in their starting eleven while another U21 defender Mark McGuinness was an unused substitute as they came from behind to secure a two one victory which leaves Forest fixed to the bottom of the league table.

Midfielder Josh Cullen was in action for RSC Anderlecht who crushed their visitors  Mechelen by seven goals to two in the Belgian First Division early this afternoon.

Another of our U21 brigade Ryan Johansson was an unused substitute for loan club Fortuna Sittard  who went down to a three one defeat at Sparta Rotterdam in the Dutch Eredivisie this afternoon.

In the early kick-off Crystal Palace defeated Tottenham Hotspur by three goals to nil at Selhurst Park in the opening Premier League contest of Saturday afternoon. Under 21 defender Jake O’Brien has been catching the eye with the ‘Eagles’ U23 side but is not yet in contention for the first team while Matt Doherty  was an unused substitute for the visitors. Arsenal scored the only goal to defeat visitors Norwich City who included Andrew Omobamidele in their starting eleven with Adam Idah an 80th minute substitute
. Brentford went down to a one nil defeat by visitors Brighton & Hove Albion and Shane Duffy at their new Stadium. Manchester United defeated Newcastle United by four goals to one at Old Trafford. The ‘Magpies’ included Ciaran Clark in their starting eleven with Jeff Hendrick an 85th minute substitute. 

Irish eyes were on Celtic Park where Glasgow Celtic defeated visitors Ross County by three goals to nil in the Scottish Premiership. Summer signing James McCarthy was an 78th minute substitute while new signing Liam Scales was not in the matchday squad.  Jamie McGrath was joined by Connor Ronan in the St Mirren starting eleven for the scoreless draw with visitors Dundee United at their Love Street home.

In the Championship, Mark Travers started for AFC Bournemouth who defeated Barnsley by three goals to nil at the Vitality Stadium. Alan Browne was a 73rd minute  substitute for Preston North End who played out a scoreless draw at Bristol City. John Egan started and loanee Conor Hourihane was a 71st minute substitute for Sheffield United who crushed Peterborough United by six goals to two at Bramall Lane. The visiting ‘Posh’ included loanee Conor Coventry in their starting eleven. New signing Michael Obafemi was a late substitute for Swansea City as was Ryan Manning as they played out a scoreless draw with visitors Hull City. Callum Robinson was a 59th minute substitute while loan signing Jayson Molumby was confined to the West Bromwich Albion substitute bench for the one all draw with visitors Millwall at the Hawthorns.

In League One striker Anthony Scully, who was on standby for last week’s internationals, and his Lincoln City colleagues crushed their hosts Cambridge United by five goals to one with Scully scoring twice. MK Dons defeated visitors Portsmouth by one goal to nil with loanee Troy Parrott in their starting eleven while the visitors  included loanee goalkeeper  Gavin Bazunu in their starting eleven with Ronan Curtis a 54th minute substitute.  Daryl Horgan was a 71st minute substitute for Wycombe Wanderers who played out a scoreless draw at Oxford United. Chiedoze Ogbene, having recovered from injury, started for Rotherham United who crashed  to a four two defeat by visitors Fleetwood Town while U21 striker Joshua Kayode was unused on the substitute bench. Wigan Athletic included James McClean in their starting eleven for the two one victory over visitors Doncaster Rovers.

U21 midfielder Will Ferry, on loan from Southampton, was in League Two action with Crawley Town who defeated visitors Carlisle United by two goals to one. Also in action was Aston Villa loanee Tyreik Wright who joined Salford City defeated visitors  Bradford City by one goal to nil.

Birmingham City defeated  Derby County by two goals to nil in the Championship this Friday evening. Scott Hogan opened the scoring for the ‘Blues’ while Jason Knight was introduced from the ‘Rams’ bench on eighty three minutes, his first involvement this season following his injury absence. U21 midfielder Louie Watson was an unused substitute for the defeated  visitors.


Airtricity League action this weekend…11/09/2021


There were four Airtricity League Premier Division fixtures played this evening.  Shamrock Rovers extended their lead at the summit with a two nil victory over visitors Waterford in Tallaght Stadium while second place St Patrick’s Athletic went down to a two nil defeat by third place Sligo Rovers in the Showgrounds. Fourth place Derry City were held to a two all draw by visitors Finn Harps while Drogheda United leapfrogged  visitors Bohemian in fifth place with a three two success in Head in the Game Park.

Longford Town played host to Dundalk on Saturday evening in Bishopsgate and gained only their second league win of the season with a one nil victory. 

                        P  W  D  L   F  A   G/D  Pts 
Shamrock Rovers        25 16  5  4  42 20   22   53
St Patrick’s Athletic  27 15  5  7  46 32   14   50
Sligo Rovers           25 12  6  7  30 18   12   42
Derry City             26 10  8  8  33 31    2   38
Drogheda United        27 10  7 10  40 34    6   37
Bohemian               23 10  4  9  37 27   1
0   34
Finn Harps             26  9  6 11  28 35   -7   33
Waterford              27  9  2 16  23 45  -22   29
Dundalk                25  7  7 11  28 36   -8   28
Longford Town          27  2  8 17
  19 48  -29   14

There was a full schedule of Airtricity League First Division fixtures played on Friday evening. Current leaders Shelbourne defeated Cork City by two goals to nil in Turners Cross while UCD climbed up to second place on goal difference with a five two victory over visitors Cabinteely. Galway United and Treaty United played out a scoreless draw in Eamonn Deacy Park while  Bray Wanderers went down to a one nil home defeat by Athlone Town. In the basement battle, bottom side Wexford defeated visitors Cobh Ramblers by three goals to one in Ferrycarrig Park.

                        P  W  D  L   F  A   G/D  Pts
Shelbourne             22 14  7  1  44 19   25   49
UCD                    22 11  6  5  49 30   19   39
Galway United          22 11  6  5  31 20   11   39
Treaty United          22 10  7  5  32 23    9   37
Bray Wanderers         22  8  9  5  31 23    8   33
Athlone Town           22  8  4 10  28 37   -9   28
Cork City              22  6  7  9  30 27    3   25
Cabinteely             22  7  1 14  22 38  -16   22
Cobh Ramblers          22  5  4 13  18 41  -23   19
Wexford                22  3  3 16  20 47  -27   12 


Ireland secure late point against Serbia…07/09/2021

Ireland garnered a fortunate point from this evening’s 2022 World Cup qualifying encounter with Serbia through an own goal conceded by the visitors three minutes from time. Serbia were dominant for the majority of the match and took the lead on 20 minutes following a poorly defended corner kick. The visitors had several other scoring opportunities but were thwarted repeatedly by teenage goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu who was awarded  the man of the match accolade. He was very closely rivalled by another nineteen year old Andrew Omobamidele who occupied  the right hand side of the back three. The visitors were technically very much superior to Ireland and it was only in the final ten or so minutes that Ireland offered any real challenge with the own goal a product of those endeavours. A third nineteen year old, Adam Idah, again offered hope for the future with another industrious contribution with little by way of attacking support.  There were reasonable contributions from Jeff Hendrick and James McClean while substitute Callum Robinson also made an impact upon his introduction. In truth Ireland were considerably inferior to Serbia and while  a late equaliser is always uplifting and may give rise to a certain degree of euphoria, the truth is that there is a long and challenging road ahead.

Gavin Bazunu; Andrew Omobamidele, Shane Duffy (c), John Egan; Matt Doherty James McClean; Jeff Hendrick, Josh Cullen, Jamie McGrath; Alan Browne, Adam Idah

Callum Robinson for Browne 58′
Daryl Horgan for McGrath 66′
Jayson Molumby for Cullen 66′

Conor Hourihane for Hendrick 78′
James Collins for Idah 78′

Both captain Seamus Coleman and Aaron Connolly have been forced to withdraw from the Ireland squad through injury for Tuesday evening’s encounter with Serbia. Cyrus Christie has been called up to the squad as a replacement.

Ireland needed an 87th minute goal by Shane Duffy to garner a point from this afternoon’s 2022 World Cup qualifier in the Aviva Stadium against Azerbaijan. Ireland were hugely disappointing and a mere shadow of the side that produced a memorable performance in Portugal last Wednesday. Ireland did start brightly and dominated the contest during the opening period but thereafter the performance levels dropped.  While there were  a number of scoring opportunities created the standard of finishing was disappointing. Save for one error in dropping a simple cross late in the second half, Gavin Bazunu again performed admirably. There were excellent contributions from Josh Cullen and Adam Idah but the remainder of the starting eleven were below par. The visitors took a shock lead in the minute of first half added time with a fine shot which gave Bazunu no chance but the surprising failure of Seamus Coleman to close down the scorer was very disappointing. Ireland dominated possession during the second half but were unable to find a scoring touch until the closing minutes when Duffy got on the end of an excellent Cullen cross to equalise. There were a couple of other excellent scoring opportunities but our continuing failure to convert remains a painful bugbear. 

Gavin Bazunu; Seamus Coleman (C), Shane Duffy, John Egan; Matt Doherty James McClean; Jayson Molumby, Josh Cullen, Troy Parrott; Adam Idah, Aaron Connolly

Daryl Horgan for Connolly 45′
Conor Hourihane for Molumby 63′
Callum Robinson for Parrott 63′
James Collins for Doherty 80′
Alan Browne for Cullen 88′

———————————————————————————————————————–Ireland suffered a deflating and undeserved two one defeat by hosts Portugal in Faro this Wednesday evening. While the outcome most probably puts paid to the chances of progressing to the Qatar World Cup Finals, the performance gives solid grounds for optimism, provided of course that tonight’s levels are sustained and built upon.  The management team provided the players with a clear and astute game plan which was followed with great conviction. There were of course some lapses which have to be expected but they were contained to a minimum.

Statistically the hosts dominated possession but for the greater part did not impose themselves on a disciplined Irish team. Ireland took the lead on the stroke of half time through John Egan and held their advantage until the 89th minute when Christiano Ronaldo scored  the equaliser and the same player reprised the effort in the sixth minute of added  time.

The concession of a lengthy debated 10th minute penalty was disappointing but teenage goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu provided an uplifting tonic with a splendid save. For one so young, Bazunu exudes a calm confidence that offers reassurance to those in front of him. The back three of Dara O’Shea, Shane Duffy and John Egan, which was a positional change from previous outings, looked solid and whilst disrupted by the 35th minute injury which forced  the withdrawal of O’Shea and the brave introduction of eighteen year old Andrew Omobamidele, maintained it’s composure. Captain Seamus Coleman and Matt Doherty occupied wing back positions and performed excellently.
In midfield Josh Cullen, who has been enjoying a very consistent run of matches and performance with RSC Anderlecht, was excellent. Surprise selection Jamie McGrath justified his inclusion on the right side of midfield and provided some fine dead ball deliveries. The front duo of Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah worked tirelessly with the Cork man particularly impressive in his central role. The Galway man offered great energy but will be disappointed with his finishing which lacked composure but that will hopefully improve with time.

The goal scored  by John Egan on the cusp of half-time was impressive with the Cork man reacting brilliantly to a fine corner delivery from McGrath to head an excellent goal. The disappointment of all at the end of the match was palpable and one hopes that they can recover from their exertions and provide a fitting performance against Azerbaijan, who went down to a two one defeat in Luxembourg this evening, when they visit the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Gavin Bazunu; Seamus Coleman (C), Dara O’Shea, Shane Duffy, John Egan, Matt Doherty; Jeff Hendrick, Josh Cullen, Jamie McGrath; Adam Idah, Aaron Connolly

Andrew Omobamidele for O’Shea 35′
James McClean for Connolly 72′
James Collins for Idah 90′
Jayson Molumby for McGrath 90′

Manager Stephen Kenny has named his Republic of Ireland starting eleven for this evening’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against hosts Portugal in Faro-Louie. The inclusion of St Mirren midfielder Jamie McGrath is the only real surprise. McGrath was set to move to fellow Scottish Premiership club Hibernian but the proposed transfer was not completed last night because of on administrative error.

Gavin Bazunu; Seamus Coleman (C), Shane Duffy, John Egan, Dara O’Shea, Matt Doherty; Jeff Hendrick, Josh Cullen, Jamie McGrath; Aaron Connolly, Adam Idah

It has also been confirmed  that Shane Long has tested positive for Covid19 and he is in isolation from the rest of the group.