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.