Overseas cup and league action this weekend…11/01/2021

The remaining FA Cup Round Three contest between National League North side Stockport County and West Ham United took place in Edgeley Park on Monday evening and saw the Premier League side progress with a very late goal. The hosts, managed by Jim Gannon, performed extremely well and their quality of football was very good. Darren Randolph started for the ‘Hammers’  while eighteen year old striker Ademipo Odubeko was introduced from the substitute bench for the final five minutes.

Glasgow Celtic may well have conceded the Scottish Premiership title as they played out a one all home draw with Hibernian this evening. Shane Duffy started for the hosts while teenager Armstrong Okoflex was introduced from the substitute bench on 61 minutes. Fellow teenagers Barry Coffey and Luca Connell were also named on the substitute bench.

There was further FA Cup Round Three action on Sunday afternoon with Championship side Barnsley defeating League Two Tranmere Rovers by two goals to nil. The visitors included Glasgow Celtic loanee Lee O’Connor in their starting eleven. Bristol City defeated League One Portsmouth by two goals to one at Ashton Gate with new international recruit Marcus Harness starting alongside eligible central defender Sean Raggett for the visitors.  Things have certainly not gone as the once prolific striker Scott Hogan would have wished and a trip with Birmingham City to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium was unlikely to bring much reward and so it proved as they went down to a three nil defeat with Hogan withdrawn at half-time. Northern Premier League side Marine FC played host to Tottenham Hotspur who included Matt Doherty in their starting eleven as they cruised to a five nil victory. The late kick-off at Rodney Parade between League Two Newport County who included Padraig Amond and Jamie Devitt in their starting eleven and Brighton & Hove Albion, for whom Aaron Connolly was absent through injury, came to a dramatic finish with the Premier League side scoring the first goal on 90 minutes only for the hosts to equalise in the sixth minute of added time. There were no further scores in extra-time and the penalty shoot-out went the way of the visiting ‘Seagulls’ following a host of failures by both sides. 

The FA Cup Round Three continued on Saturday afternoon with several contests scheduled for a noon kick-off. Millwall included Spurs loanee Troy Parrott in their starting eleven for their visit to National League South Boreham Wood where they prevailed by two goals to nil. ‘Man of the Match’ for the ‘Lions’ was Danny McNamara who returned from his loan spell with St Johnstone last weekend. Seamus Coleman and Everton were given an almighty scare by Championship strugglers Rotherham United who took them to extra-time before the host ‘Toffees’ prevailed by two goals to one. Championship sides Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City met at the City Ground where Harry Arter started while Cyrus Christie was an unused substitute as the hosts scored the only goal after just four minutes. There was a 12.15 kick-off time for the meeting of National League North Chorley FC who welcomed Derby County to Victory Park where the visiting ‘Rams’ fielded a side comprised of U23 and U18 players following a Covid-19 outbreak within their management and senior player ranks. The task was too much for the youngsters, who introduced Festy Ebesole as a 64th minute substitute in their two nil defeat. Darragh Lenihan was in the Blackburn Rovers side which suffered a shock one nil defeat by League One Doncaster Rovers at Ewood Park. Fellow League One side, Blackpool also created  a surprise with a three two penalty shoot-out success over West Bromwich Albion following a two all draw after extra-time. Dara O’Shea was a 96th minute substitute for the defeated ‘Baggies’. Struggling Premier League side Sheffield United included skipper John Egan and David McGoldrick in their side as they prevailed by three goals to two at League One side Bristol Rovers. Another League One side, MK Dons included veteran Richard Keogh in their side for the visit to Burnley for whom Robbie Brady started as they were given quite a stern test before prevailing in a penalty shoot-out following a one all draw after extra-time.  Young midfielder Gavin Kilkenny was in the AFC Bournemouth side which defeated League Two Oldham Athletic by four goals to one at the Vitality Stadium. Conor Masterson was a 90th minute substitute for QPR who went down to a two nil extra-time defeat by near neighbours Fulham at Loftus Road. Ryan Manning was in the Swansea City side which secured a two nil victory at League Two Stevenage while Stoke City included James McClean in their starting eleven with Nathan Collins a 65th minute substitute as they crashed to a four nil home defeat by Leicester City. Daryl Horgan was a 57th minute substitute for Wycombe Wanderers who defeated visitors Preston North End by four goals to one. Loanee Jayson Molumby started for the defeated ‘Lilywhites’ while Alan Browne and Sean Maguire were second half substitutes. Ciaran Clark and Jeff Hendrick were in the Newcastle United side which went down to a two nil extra-time defeat by hosts Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. 

There was League One action early on Saturday afternoon with current leaders Lincoln City playing out a one all draw with visitors Peterborough United. Anthony Scully started and scored the equaliser for the hosts in a ‘Man of the Match’ performance. Zack Elbouzedi was an unused substitute while Jack Taylor started for the visitors. Southampton loanee Thomas O’Connor was in action for Gillingham who went down to a one nil home defeat by struggling Burton Albion for whom Kieran O’Hara was relegated to the substitute bench following his recent torrid time. Arsenal loanee Mark McGuinness together with Ipswich Town colleagues Alan Judge, Stephen Ward and Aaron Drinan started the three two Portman Road defeat by visitors Swindon Town for whom loan signing Mark Travers started. Judge was prominent for the defeated hosts and scored their second goal. In the late kick-off, Sunderland included Aiden McGeady in their starting eleven and he scored with an uncharacteristic header in their one all draw with visitors Hull City.

In the Scottish Cup second round, Glasgow Celtic loanee Jonathan Afolabi was a 56th minute substitute for  Dundee who welcomed the quaintly name Lowland League club Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic to the Kilmac Stadium. The visitors led through a 25th minute penalty until Afolabi scored the equaliser in the fourth minute of added time to take the contest into extra-time. The non-league side regained the lead in extra-time, again from the penalty spot, but it was not to be as Dundee recovered to score twice for a three two victory. 

The 2021 FA Cup Round Three commenced on Friday evening with the all Premier League clash of Aston Villa and Liverpool at 7.45pm in Villa Park. With confirmation of a Covid-19 outbreak within the Villa camp it was revealing to see how both clubs approached the competition. With Conor Hourihane being a member of the the hosts first team squad, he missed out on a starting opportunity while fellow Cork native Tyriek Wright, who has been catching the eye in the U21 side, had high hopes of involvement but he was not included in the 20 man squad which involved seven from the U21s and four from the U18s. Another Cork man, Caoimhin Kelleher started as expected for the visitors who were given something of a first half jolt as the sides went in at half time level on one goal apiece. In the second half Liverpool eventually eased away to a four one victory. Also gaining a starting berth this evening was James McCarthy whose Crystal Palace went down to a one nil defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers where McCarthy was withdrawn on 70 minutes.

The Valley hosted the League One encounter between Charlton Athletic and Accrington Stanley which the visitors won by two goals to nil.  Watford loanee Ryan Cassidy was a 66th minute substitute for the victorious visitors.