Irish Women lose to Germany…19/09/2020

Our senior women’s international team went down to a three nil defeat by Germany in this afternoon’s Euro 2021 Championship qualifier played in Essen. The hosts scored all three goals in the first half but a more disciplined second half performance kept the victors at bay.

Team: Marie Hourihan; Diane Caldwell, Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahey, Aine O’Gorman; Megan Connolly, Ruesha Littlejohn, Denise O’Sullivan; Katie McCabe(C), Rianna Jarrett, Leanne Kiernan

Substitution: Heather Payne for Kiernan 63′


Our Republic of Ireland senior women’s international team face a daunting challenge when they meet Germany in their Euro 2021 Championship qualifier at 1pm on Saturday afternoon in Essen. Ireland currently top Qualifying Group I with thirteen points from five matches but Germany, with a 100% record from four matches, are just a point behind. Ireland will travel to meet Ukraine next month before completing their campaign with the home contest against Germany in December.

Ireland manager Vera Pauw has named her 23 player squad for the Essen encounter:-

Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan(West Ham United), Marie Hourihan(SC Braga), Niamh Reid-Burke(Peamount United)
Defenders: Diane Caldwell(SC Sand), Aine O’Gorman(Peamount United), Claire O’Riordan(MSV Duisberg), Louise Quinn(Fiorentina), Harriet Scott(Birmingham City)
Midfielders: Megan Connolly(Brighton & Hove Albion), Niamh Fahey(Liverpool). Niamh Farrelly(Peamount United), Jamie Finn(Shelbourne), Ruesha Littlejohn(Leicester City), Ellen Molloy(Wexford WFC), Alli Murphy(London City Lionesses), Hayley Nolan(London City Lionesses), Denise O’Sullivan(North Carolina Courage-on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion)
Forwards: Amber Barrett(FC Koln), Kyra Carusa(HB Hoge), Rianna Jarrett(Brighton & Hove Albion), Leanne Kiernan(West Ham United), Katie McCabe(Arsenal), Heather Payne(Florida State University)


The Airtricity League this weekend…21/09/2020

Match Series Twelve in the Airtricity League Premier Division kicked off at 5.45pm on Friday afternoon when Derry City played out a dull scoreless draw with visitors St Patrick’s Athletic in the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium. Later this evening, Sligo Rovers played host to Bohemian who deservedly won with the only goal on 80 minutes in the Showgrounds.

Shelbourne and Finn Harps played out a one all draw in Tolka Park  on Saturday evening while Shamrock Rovers crushed Waterford by six goals to one in Tallaght Stadium on Monday evening to extend their lead at the summit.

                        P  W  D  L   F  A   G/D  Pts
Shamrock Rovers        12 10  2  0  30  7   23   32
Bohemian               12  8  0  4  13  7    6   24
Dundalk                10  5  2  3  20 14    6   17
Waterford              12  5  2  5  15 18   -3   17
Sligo Rovers           12  5  1  6  14 16   -2   16
Derry City             11  3  4  4  11 10    1   13
Shelbourne             12  3  4  5  10 13   -3   13
St Patrick’s Athletic  12  3  4  5   6 10   -4   13
Finn Harps             12  2  3  7   8 19  -11    9
Cork City              11  2  2  7   6 19  -13    8


There were four Airtricity League First Division fixtures played on Monday evening with leaders Bray Wanderers maintaining their lead at the summit with a two one victory at Cobh Ramblers. Longford Town moved up to third place with a three one victory over UCD while Cabinteely went down to a one nil defeat by visitors Galway United.  Athlone Town continued their recent form upsurge with a one nil victory at Wexford.

Second place Drogheda United were in action on Tuesday evening when they defeated visitors Shamrock Rovers II by three goals to two in United Park. 

                     P  W  D  L   F  A  G/D  Pts
Bray Wanderers      13  9  2  2  24 10  14   29
Drogheda United     13  8  3  2  31 14  17   27
Longford Town       13  7  2  4  16 14   2   23
Cabinteely          13  7  2  4  18 17   1   23

UCD                 13  6  2  5  27 19   8   20
Galway United       13  5  5  3  16 11   5   20
Cobh Ramblers       13  5  2  6  15 18  -3   17
Athlone Town        13  2  3  8  16 31 -15    9
Shamrock Rovers II  13  2  2  9  14 20  -6    8
13  1  3  9   6 29 -23    6

All five Airtricity League First Division fixtures took place last Friday evening at 7.45pm with the Carlisle Grounds meeting of Bray Wanderers and Longford Town topping the bill. The hosts maintained their top spot with a comprehensive three nil victory. The Bowl was the venue for the clash of UCD and Drogheda United which saw the visitors emerge successful with a three one scoreline. Galway United scored the only goal to defeat visitors Wexford in Eamonn Deacy Park. The remaining contests saw Athlone Town defeat visitors Cobh Ramblers by two goals to one while
Shamrock Rovers II suffered a two nil defeat by Cabinteely in Tallaght Stadium.

                     P  W  D  L   F  A  G/D  Pts
Bray Wanderers      12  8  2  2  22  9  13   26
Drogheda United     12  7  3  2  28 12  16   24
Cabinteely          12  7  2  3  18 16   2   23
UCD                 12  6  2  4  26 16  10   20

Longford Town       12  6  2  4  13 13   –   20
Galway United       12  4  5  3  15 11   4   17
Cobh Ramblers       12  5  2  5  14 16  -2   17
Shamrock Rovers II  12  2  2  8  12 17  -5    8
Athlone Town        12  1  3  8  15 31 -16    6
12  1  3  8   6 28 -22    6

Europa League action this week…17/09/2020

The second qualifying round in the Europa League commenced on Wednesday evening and saw Welsh side The New Saints (TNS) exit the competition in the Faroe Islands following a 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat by B36 Torshavn after the sides shared four goals in normal time. 

On Thursday evening Shamrock Rovers welcomed Italian giants AC Milan to Tallaght Stadium where they went down to a two nil defeat. The visitors were always in control and emerged as comfortable winners.  Dundalk travelled to face Inter Escaldes in Andorra and progressed to the next stage with a one nil victory courtesy of a David McMillan goal after 14 minutes. The ‘Lilywhites’ will be on the road again next Thursday when they travel to face Sheriff of Moldova.  Northern Irish club Coleraine exited the competition following a three nil penalty shoot-out defeat after they had earned a two all  extra-time draw with Scottish club Motherwell. The ‘Steelmen’ will travel to Israel to face Hapoel Beer-Sheva in the third round next week. Down the road in Windsor Park, Linfield suffered an unexpected one nil defeat by Floriana of Malta. Aberdeen and Jonny Hayes travelled to Norway where they secured a two nil success over Viking FK and they will be on the road again next week when they travel to face Sporting CP in Portugal. Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar were no match for visitors Glasgow Rangers who progressed with a five nil victory which earned them a third round tie against Willem II in Holland next week. Two further Welsh clubs, Bala Town and Connah’s Quay Nomads exited the competition following defeats by Standard Liege (2-0)in Belgium and Dinamo Tbilisi (0-1)in Wales. Matt Doherty and his Tottenham Hotspur colleagues are through to the next stage following a two one victory over PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv in Bulgaria but not before they suffered a huge scare as they trailed with just fifteen minutes remaining but a penalty kick and two home club dismissals provided them with the opportunity to progress. The London club will travel to face Shkendija of North Macedonia in the third round next week. Glasgow Celtic are also set to be in third round action next week when they will travel to face Riga(Latvia).   

EFL(Carabao) Cup second round action…17/09/2020

Burnley included Robbie Brady, Kevin Long and Jimmy Dunne in their side for the visit of Sheffield United for whom David McGoldrick started and scored after 4 minutes at Turf Moor on Thursday evening. However, it was not enough as the ‘Clarets’ equalised and took the contest to a penalty shoot-out where they prevailed on a 5-4 scoreline with Brady converting the winning kick.

Wolverhampton Wanderers hosted Championship side Stoke City and suffered a shock one nil defeat to exit the competition. Nathan Collins and James McClean both started for the successful visitors.

Brighton & Hove Albion included Jayson Molumby in an unfamiliar right wing back role as they secured  a comfortable four nil victory over League One Portsmouth at the Amex Stadium. Ronan Curtis, Marcus Harness and Sean Raggett all started for the visitors.

The second round of the 2020/21 EFL(Carabao)Cup continued on Wednesday evening with West Bromwich Albion defeating newly promoted League Two side Harrowgate Town by three goals to nil at the Hawthorns. Dara O’Shea started in central defence for the ‘Baggies’ while Calum Robinson was a 73rd minute substitute and scored four minutes later. Alan Judge was a 69th minute substitute for Ipswich Town who lost to the only goal from visitors Fulham at Portman Road. Seamus Coleman was an unused substitute for Everton who overcame League Two Salford City by three goals to nil in Goodison Park. Ireland eligible goalkeeper Max O’Leary started for Bristol City who defeated Northampton Town by four goals to nil at Ashton Gate. Southampton suffered a two nil home defeat by Brentford with Shane Long and Michael Obafemi only introduced from the substitute bench on 84 minutes while Will Smallbone remained unused.

Scottish Premier League
Shane Duffy both started and scored his second goal for Glasgow Celtic who defeated St Mirren by two goals to one at Love Street in the Scottish Premier League on Wednesday evening. The hosts, who are managed by Jim Goodwin, included five Irish men in their starting eleven – Conor McCarthy, Joe Shaughnessy, Sam Foley, Jamie McGrath and Dylan Connolly.


The second round of the 2020/21 EFL(Carabao)Cup commenced on Tuesday evening with James Collins an unused substitute for Luton Town who scored the only goal to defeat their hosts Reading. Jason Knight started and scored for Derby County but his effort was in vain as visitors Preston North End, who included Alan Browne and Sean Maguire in their starting eleven, scored twice in the latter stages at Pride Park. Lincoln City included Anthony Scully in their starting eleven and he scored after six minutes of their crushing five nil victory at Bradford City where Zak Elbouzedi and Sean Roughan were unused substitutes. Oxford United included Anthony Forde in their starting eleven with Liam Kelly a 66th minute substitute as they exited the competition in a three nil penalty shoot-out following a one all draw with visitors Watford. The contest between Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers saw Ciaran Clark return to the ‘Magpies’ starting eleven with Jeff Hendrick an unused substitute in their one nil victory over their visitors who included Daragh Lenihan and Derrick Williams in their starting eleven. Rochdale included Gavin Bazunu in their starting eleven for the two nil defeat by visitors Sheffield Wednesday while West Ham United included Darren Randolph and Josh Cullen in their starting eleven with Conor Coventry an 84th minute substitute in their three nil victory over visitors Charlton Athletic. James McCarthy was an unused substitute for Crystal Palace who exited the competition in an 11-10 penalty shoot-out following a scoreless draw at AFC Bournemouth for whom Mark Travers and Gavin Kilkenny were unused substitutes. Glenn Whelan and Paddy Madden started for Fleetwood Town and Madden opened the scoring in their two one home victory over Port Vale.

The 2020/21 English Season kicks-off this weekend…14/09/2020

Premier League
There was a 6pm kick-off time for Sheffield United who included John Egan and Enda Stevens in their starting eleven for the visit of  Wolverhampton Wanderers to Bramall Lane on Monday evening. The visitors scored twice in the opening six minutes to secure deserved  victory. David McGoldrick was a 71st minute substitute for the ‘Blades’. Later at 8.15pm, Brighton & Hove Albion played host to Chelsea in the Amex Stadium where despite playing quite impressively they went down to a three one defeat. Aaron Connolly was a 44th minute substitute for the ‘Seagulls’ and worked tirelessly in a central striking role but without reward.

New permanent signing Callum Robinson and Dara O’Shea were both in the West Bromwich Albion starting eleven for the Sunday afternoon visit of Leicester City to the Hawthorns which ended in a comprehensive three nil defeat for the ‘Baggies’. Another new signing, Matt Doherty made his competitive Tottenham Hotspur debut later in the afternoon when Everton and Seamus Coleman were the visitors to the New Stadium. The ‘Toffees’ emerged as deserved one nil victors with Coleman in excellent form.

First into new season Premier League action at 12.30pm on Saturday afternoon were newly promoted Fulham who went down to a three nil defeat by visitors Arsenal at Craven Cottage where Cyrus Christie was an unused substitute. Crystal Palace included James McCarthy in their starting eleven for their one nil victory over Southampton in Selhurst Park. Young midfielder Will Smallbone started for the visitors while Shane Long was an 85th minute substitute with Michael Obafemi an unused substitute. Darren Randolph was an unused substitute for West Ham United who went down to a two nil home defeat by visitors Newcastle United for whom summer signing Jeff Hendrick started and scored the second goal in the London Stadium.

Two of the promoted League One sides, Wycombe Wanderers and Rotherham United met in their opening Championship contest at 12.30pm on Saturday afternoon in Adams Park where the visitors emerged as two one victors. The hosts included new signing Daryl Horgan in their starting eleven while fellow summer signing Kieran Sadlier started for the victors alongside Chiedozie Ogbene. Striker James Collins and Luton Town made the journey to Barnsley where Collins scored the only goal for victory. Relegated AFC Bournemouth included goalkeeper Mark Travers in their side for their three two victory over visitors Blackburn Rovers for whom Daragh Lenihan and Derrick Williams both started. Jason Knight was in the Derby County side which went down to a two nil home defeat by visitors Reading. Senior international debutant Adam Idah was a 75th minute substitute for Norwich City and five minutes later scored the only goal for victory at Huddersfield Town.  Alan Browne started and Sean Maguire was a 57th minute substitute for Preston North End who lost to the only goal from visitors Swansea City. Conor Masterson was an unused substitute for QPR who defeated visitors Nottingham Forest by two goals to nil at Loftus Road..

League One
Ireland U21 striker Ryan Cassidy, on loan from Watford, started for Accrington Stanley alongside Seamus Conneely in their two nil victory over visitors Peterborough United who included U21 midfielder Jack Taylor in their starting eleven. Anthony Scully started and scored after 7 minutes for Lincoln City who defeated visitors Oxford United by two goals to nil. Defender Sean Roughan also started for the ‘Imps’ but Zak Elbouzedi remained unused on the substitute bench. Oxford United included recent declaree Mark Sykes, and loanee Liam Kelly in their starting eleven. The Portsmouth trio of Ronan Curtis, Marcus Harness and Sean Raggett were in the home side for the scoreless draw with visitors Shrewsbury Town. Defender Warren O’Hora, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, was in the MK Dons side who played out a one all draw at Doncaster Rovers. The seemingly evergreen Glenn Whelan was in the Fleetwood Town side for the two one victory over visitors Burton Albion with Paddy Madden scoring the winning goal. Aiden O’Brien started for Sunderland who were held to a one all draw by visitors Bristol Rovers. U21 goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, on loan from Manchester City, was in the Rochdale side which went down to a three one defeat at Swindon Town.

League Two
Glasgow Celtic loanee Lee O’Connor was in the Tranmere Rovers side which played out a scoreless draw at Mansfield Town in their League Two opener.

Scottish Premiership
Irish interest in the Scottish Premiership was principally focused on Victoria Park, Dingwall this Saturday afternoon where Shane Duffy made his Glasgow Celtic debut against Ross County. The Derry man marked his debut with a trademark headed goal in their five nil victory. Winger and occasional full back Jonny Hayes was in action with Aberdeen who defeated visitors Kilmarnock by none goal to nil.  Goalkeeper Danny Rogers started with Colin Doyle on the substitute bench for the visitors. St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin has accrued quite an Irish collection at St Mirren Park and Conor McCarthy, Jamie McGrath and Sam Foley started with Dylan Connolly a 59th minute substitute as they went down to a three nil defeat by  visitors Hibernian. Ireland U21 defender Danny McNamara, on loan at St Johnstone from Millwall, was in action as his club went down to a one nil defeat at Motherwell. 

Weekend Airtricity League action…13/09/2020

Premier Division
Match series eleven of the shortened eighteen match Airtricity League Premier Division kicked off at 5.45pm on Friday afternoon with Bohemian suffering a two nil defeat by visitors Waterford in Dalymount Park while later at 8pm, Dundalk defeated Shelbourne by three goals to two in Oriel Park.

Struggling Cork City played host to current leaders Shamrock Rovers at 2pm on Saturday afternoon in Turners Cross where the ‘Hoops’ scored a comfortable three nil success to increase their lead at the summit of the league table to eight points. Later in the day, Richmond Park hosted the meeting of St Patrick’s Athletic and Sligo Rovers which ended in a poor quality tepid scoreless draw.

The North West Derby meeting of Finn Harps and Derry City ended in a scoreless draw at Finn Park on Sunday afternoon.

                        P  W  D  L   F  A   G/D  Pts
Shamrock Rovers        11  9  2  0  24  6   18   29
Bohemian               11  7  0  4  12  7    5   21
Dundalk                10  5  2  3  20 14    6   17
Waterford              11  5  2  4  14 12    2   17
Sligo Rovers           11  5  1  5  14 15   -1   16
Derry City             10  3  3  4  11 10    1   12
Shelbourne             11  3  3  5   9 12   -3   12
St Patrick’s Athletic  11  3  3  5   6 10   -4   12
Finn Harps             11  2  2  7   7 18  -11    8
Cork City              11  2  2  7   6 19  -13    8

First Division

In the Airtricity League First Division, Bray Wanderers climbed to the top of the table with a three one victory over hosts Wexford in Ferrycarrig Park while Cabinteely were again found wanting when held to a one all draw by bottom side Athlone Town at Stradbrook this Friday evening. A resurgent Galway United  maintained their uplift in form with a two one defeat of visitors Shamrock Rovers II in Eamonn Deacy Park. 

Promotion chasers Longford Town and Drogheda United played out a one all draw in Bishopgate on Saturday evening while visitors UCD crushed their hosts Cobh Ramblers by six goals to nil in St Colman’s Park to climb up to third place. 

                     P  W  D  L   F  A  G/D  Pts
Bray Wanderers      11  7  2  2  19  9  10   23
Drogheda United     11  6  3  2  25 11  14   21
UCD                 11  6  2  3  25 13  12   20
Longford Town       11  6  2  3  13 10   3   20
Cabinteely          11  6  2  3  16 16   –   20
Cobh Ramblers       11  5  2  4  13 14  -1   17
Galway United       11  3  5  3  14 11   3   14
Shamrock Rovers II  11  2  2  7  12 15  -3    8
Wexford             11  1  3  7   6 27 -21    6
Athlone Town        11  0  3  8  13 30 -17    3