By Ryan Kelly
Ireland striker Shane Long got himself on the scoresheet on his return to Turner's Cross as West Bromich Albion crushed Cork City 6-0 in a pre-season friendly. Steven Reid also featured for the Baggies, but was rarely troubled by the Leesiders' attack.
Seamus Coleman and Darron Gibson were involved in friendly fixtures for Everton against Spanish sides Valencia and Real Betis over the past week. Coming on as a second-half substitute in the 1-0 loss to Valencia, Coleman created a number of chances, while Darron Gibson will be disappointed with his display. Shane Duffy remained an unused substitute. Gibson was taken off injured against Betis on Sunday, but Seamus Coleman impressed once more in the 2-1 win.
James McClean made his debut for Wigan Athletic in their 2-0 Community Shield loss to Manchester United. The winger played reasonably well having only joined days beforehand, creating a number of chances for the Latics. James McCarthy was lively in midfield but he struggled to impose himself on the game, while Chris McCann made a second half appearance for his new club.
Sean St Ledger scored the winner for Leicester City in their Capital One Cup first round victory over Wycombe. With the game poised at 1-1 five minutes into stoppage time, St Ledger coolly slotted home to ensure victory for the Foxes. Nottingham Forest maintained their 100 per cent start to the Championship with a 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers. Alan Judge and Leon Best could do little for Rovers as Andy Reid orchestrated from midfield for Forest.
Richard Keogh put in a sturdy performance for Derby County as they cruised to a 2-1 away victory over Brighton. Jeff Hendrick featured in midfield for the Rams while Keith Andrews began life at the Falmer Stadium as a second-half substitute. Alex Pearce played the entire game as Reading drew 1-1 with Bolton Wanderers. Stephen Kelly was an unused substitute for the Royals.
Darren Randolph was in top form for Birmingham City as he kept a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Yeovil Town. New Ireland call-up Paddy Madden had little joy against the former Motherwell shot-stopper and was replaced in the second half, but Kevin Dawson played the entire game for the Glovers.
Richard Dunne was forced to watch from the bench as Queen's Park Rangers were held to a 1-1 draw against Huddersfield Town. Sean Scannell was introduced late in the second half but could do little to help the Terriers.
Elsewhere, Mick McCarthy's Ipswich Town defeated Steve Lomas' Millwall 3-0 at Portman Road. Jay Tabb played 63 minutes for the Tractor Boys while Millwall striker Andy Keogh was replaced after 53 minutes.
After making a substitute appearance in the Capital One Cup loss to Morecambe, Kevin Doyle returned to the Wolves starting XI in the 4-0 league victory over Gillingham. The Ireland international failed to get on the scoresheet and was replaced after the hour mark. Matt Doherty also featured for Kenny Jackett's side, before being replace in the final minutes by Kevin Foley, while Richard Stearman starred in defence.
Mark Yeates opened the scoring as Bradford City coasted to a comfortable 4-0 win over Carlisle, but Ireland under-21 international Carl McHugh was forced to watch from the bench.
Former Dundalk winger Daniel Kearns played 80 minutes in Peterborough United's 4-2 victory over Notts County. Left back Alan Sheehan played the entire game for the Magpies but could not halt their demise.
Anthony Stokes came on as a substitute as Celtic ensured their progression in the Uefa Champions League with a 0-0 draw away to Elfsborg before captaining the Bhoys to a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in a friendly fixture in Dublin. Ireland under-19 international Paul George made a short cameo appearance in the victory.
Graham Carey scored for Ross County as they suffered a 3-1 home defeat against Partick Thistle. The former Celtic midfielder could have doubled his tally but Scott Fox was equal to his free kick.
Richie Foran was lucky not to be sent off in Inverness Caledonian Thistle's narrow 1-0 victory over Dundee United. The former Shelbourne man was extremely lucky to escape punishment for an outrageous knee-high tackle on Gary Mackay-Steven. Sean Dillon captained the Terrors, while Gavin Gunning watched on from the bench. Northern Ireland international Billy McKay's strike was the difference between the sides.
James Collins played the entire game as Pat Fenlon's Hibernian lost 1-0 to Hearts in the Edinburgh derby. The Irish under-21 international showed good work ethic in attack but had no joy as the Jambos held on for victory. Elsewhere, Northern Ireland international Niall McGinn struck two penalties as Aberdeen defeated Motherwell 3-1. Johnny Hayes also played for the Dons.
Darren O'Dea was an unused substitute as Metalurh Donetsk defeated Kukesi 1-0 in the Europa League third qualifying round. Metalurh were eliminated from the competition as they lost 2-1 on aggregate. Liam Lawrence came on as a second-half substitute in PAOK's 1-1 Champions League third qualifying round draw away to Metalist Kharkiv. Unfortunately, the result was not enough and the Greek side crashed out to a 3-1 aggregate score. Elsewhere, Cillian Sheridan was not included in APOEL's squad as they were eliminated from the Champions League at the hands of Slovenian side Maribor.
Meanwhile, Robbie Keane had a game to forget as LA Galaxy lost 2-0 to AC Milan in the final of the International Challenge Cup. Ireland's record goal-scorer was at fault for the first goal as he was caught in possession by Andrea Poli, who teed up Mario Balotelli for the opener. Keane was later substituted after the hour mark. Keane later played in Galaxy's scintillating 3-3 draw against FC Dallas on Sunday. The former Tottenham Hotspur striker supplied an assist for Landon Donovan's first goal, but showed a lack of discipline in the closing stages when he was booked for dissent.
|IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND
Goalkeeper: Darren Randolph (Birmingham City)
Defenders: Matt Doherty (Wolves), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Sean St Ledger (Leicester City), Seamus Coleman (Everton)
Midfielders: Mark Yeates (Bradford), Alan Judge (Blackburn Rovers), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Andy Reid (Nottingham Forest)
Forwards: Shane Long (West Bromich Albion), Graham Carey (Ross County)