By Ronan Murphy
Reading striker Noel Hunt rewarded manager Brian McDermott for giving him the nod up front, as the Waterford frontman scored his first Premier League goal on his first start of the season. Hunt had come off the bench in 4 of Reading's first 5 games, but gave McDermott a selection headache, scoring with a neat header in the Royals' 2-2 draw with Newcastle United.
Shane Long was also on target as West Bromwich Albion battled to draw 1-1 with midlands rivals Aston Villa on Sunday at Villa Park. Long capitalised on a poor clearance from captain Ron Vlaar to record his fourth goal of the season in all competitions.
Donegal wideman Seamus Coleman kept his place at right-back for Everton, and put in a stellar display for the Toffees, adding an assist as Everton beat Southampton 3-1 to go second in the table.
Former Republic of Ireland striker Alan Lee scored just five minutes after being introduced by Huddersfield Town, but could not help Simon Grayson's side defeat Watford at the John Smith's Stadium. Two goals in the last seven minutes saw Watford win 3-2.
Stephen Dawson struck a sweet second half volley as Barnsley drew 1-1 with Ipswich Town. The Dublin-born 26-year-old finally got off the mark for the Tykes after repeatedly impressing in midfield since joining from Leyton Orient in January.
Brentford snatched a late point away to Tranmere Rovers, with former Ireland international midfielder Jonathan Douglas volleying in for the Bees right at the death, striking in the sixth minute of stoppage time against the league leaders.
Joe Dunne's first game in charge of Colchester United saw the U's come back from a goal down to beat Hartlepool United 3-1. The Dubliner did not have to call upon fellow Irishman Clinton Morrison, leaving the striker on the bench as his side began their rebuilding period following the sacking of John Ward.
Padraig Amond scored his fifth goal in nine games for Paul Cook's Accrington Stanley, helping Stanley to a 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon as they climbed to fourth in the table. Former Sligo Rovers midfielder Romauld Boco also did well for Accrington, while Karl Sheppard was introduced from the bench.
Dagenham and Redbridge finally recorded their first win of the season, beating Wycombe Wanderers 3-0. Former Ireland under-21 midfielder Michael Spillane scored from the spot for the Daggers, netting his third goal of the season. Elsewhere Rob Kiernan made his debut for Burton Albion in their 3-3 draw with Northampton Town after joining on loan from Wigan Athletic.
After getting off the mark for Kilmarnock last week, Cillian Sheridan bagged a hat-trick in a 3-1 away victory against Hearts. The three-time Ireland international's three-goal tally was the first hat-trick of his career as he helped Killie climb to third in the SPL table.
Irish duo Richie Foran and Philip Roberts both found the net for Inverness Caledonian Thistle in their 4-0 win over Dundee United. Foran scored ICT's first two goals while Arsenal loanee Roberts netted on his first start for the club.
Celtic overtook Motherwell at the top of the table with a 2-0 win at Fir Park. Celtic dominated for large periods, and would have won by a much bigger score were it not for the heroics of Darren Randolph in the Motherwell goal. Randolph pulled off a string of saves, including a penalty kick from Scott Brown.
Pat Fenlon's Hibernian could have went top of the SPL with a win against Aberdeen, but slumped to a 2-1 defeat despite Eoin Doyle's first half strike.
Liam Lawrence scored and was sent off as PAOK beat Aris 4-1 in a heated derby in the Greek Super League. The winger opened the scoring with a thunderous volley as PAOK moved up to second in the table, but received a straight red in stoppage time after lashing out at Giannis Gianniotas. The Aris midfielder was also sent off for a crunching tackle on the Irishman.
Spartak Moscow rested a number of key players, including Ireland winger Aiden McGeady, as they turned their attentions to Tuesday's Champions League tie with Celtic, but still recorded a 3-1 RPL win over Amkar Perm.
In MLS, Ireland captain Robbie Keane played 90 minutes, but could not add to his goal tally as LA Galaxy could only manage a 1-1 draw against Colorado Rapids.
|IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND
Goalkeeper: Darren Randolph (Motherwell)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Andy O'Brien (Vancouver Whitecaps), Richard Keogh (Derby), Stephen Ward (Wolves)
Midfielders: Liam Lawrence (PAOK), Richie Foran (Inverness), Jonathan Douglas (Brentford), James McClean (Sunderland)
Forwards: Cillian Sheridan (Kilmarnock), Noel Hunt (Reading)