FA Cup third round replays on Tuesday night…15/01/2019

Following their one all draw at St James Park in the first encounter, Newcastle United progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a four two extra-time victory over Darragh Lenihan and Blackburn Rovers in the replay at Ewood Park this Tuesday evening. Ciaran Clark started for the ‘Magpies’ but was forced off through injury at half-time. The visitors took an early two goal lead but were pegged back with Lenihan scoring the equaliser on the cusp of half-time. Stoke City, with James McClean a seventy second minute substitute, crashed out of the competition when they forfeited a two goal advantage at their own Bet 365 Stadium and allowed League One visitors Shrewsbury Town to score three times in the in the final twenty minutes and progress to the fourth round. The sides had played out a  one all draw in their opening contest at the New Meadow Stadium. 

More Premier League action on Monday evening…14/01/2019

The Premier League continued on Monday evening with Manchester City defeating visitors Wolverhampton Wanderers by three goals to nil at the Etihad Stadium to reduce the gap to leaders Liverpool to four points. The visitors were outplayed from the start and were further hampered by the dismissal of defender Boly after just nineteen minutes. Wing back Matt Doherty, who had been in fine form in recent weeks, did not enjoy the best of evenings under the watchful gaze of Ireland Assistant Manager Terry Connor. 

Sunday afternoon in the Premier League…13/01/2019

Captain Seamus Coleman returned to the Everton starting eleven for this afternoon’s hard fought two nil Goodison Park victory over visitors AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League. The Killybegs man had a steady match in what was a generally unspectacular contest. James McCarthy was not included in the matchday squad, strengthening speculation that he may move, perhaps on loan, during the current transfer window.   

SWAI Awards Banquet this evening…11/01/2019

The Soccer Writers Association of Ireland held it’s annual Awards Banquet at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin this Friday evening where new Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny received the Personality of the Year Award for the third time. Kenny of course led Dundalk to the League and Cup double in the 2018 season. The goalkeeper of the year award went to Bohemian FC custodian Shane Supple while recent international retiree Aine O’Gorman received the International Achievement Award having been capped 100 times for Ireland. There was also a Special Merit Award made to Drogheda United chairman Vincent Hoey.

Premier League action on Saturday afternoon…12/01/2019

Declan Rice scored the only goal and was named ‘Man of the Match’ as West Ham United defeated visitors Arsenal at the London Stadium  in the Premier League early on Saturday afternoon. Shane Duffy and Brighton & Hove Albion lost to the only goal, a penalty, for  current leaders Liverpool at the Amex Stadium while Burnley had  Jeff Hendrick in their starting eleven with Kevin Long unused on the substitute bench as they defeated Turf Moor visitors Fulham and Cyrus Christie by two goals to one. Harry Arter started for Cardiff City as they played out a scoreless draw with visitors Huddersfield Town but Greg Cunningham remained unused on the bench. Shane Long scored the winning goal for Southampton who secured a two one success at  Leicester City. Ciaran Clark was on the scoresheet for Newcastle United but they went down to a two one defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the late kick-off.

The Championship on Saturday afternoon…12/01/2019

There was a full Championship programme on Saturday afternoon with Darren Randolph and Middlesbrough securing a two one victory at  Birmingham City for whom the occasionally Ireland referenced Lukas Jutkiewicz was in his customary striking role. Alan Judge has spent much of his time on the Brentford bench this season but was missing this afternoon amid speculation that he may be on his way to Ipswich Town while his current side defeated visitors Stoke City and late substitute James McClean by three goals to one at Griffin Park. The in-form Callum O’Dowda was in action for Bristol City who came from behind to defeat visitors Bolton Wanderers by two goals to one at  Ashton Gate while Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood suffered bitter disappointment as his side crashed to a three nil defeat at Hull City. The Sheffield United quartet of John Egan, Jack O’Connell, Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick , who were all rested from the shock weekend defeat by non-league Barnet in the FA Cup, returned to the starting eleven for the one nil defeat of visitors QPR with McGoldrick scoring the winning goal. Ryan Manning remained unused on the visiting bench. Anthony Pilkington made his debut for Wigan Athletic, whom he joined on Wednesday from Cardiff City on a free transfer, when they defeated visitors Aston Villa by three goals to nil at the DW Stadium. Conor Hourihane started  and Glenn Whelan was a late substitute for Villa but Scott Hogan was unused on the bench. Alan Browne started and Sean Maguire was a late substitute for Preston North End in their one all draw with Deepdale visitors Swansea City. The late kick-off at the New Den between Millwall and Blackburn Rovers ended in a two nil victory for the visitors for whom Darragh Lenihan was named ‘Man of the Match’. Aiden O’Brien started and Shaun Williams was a very late substitute for the hosts.
League One leaders Portsmouth had player of the month nominee Ronan Curtis in their starting eleven for their surprise one nil defeat by Fratton Park visitors Blackpool.