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Conor Sammon, Andy Keogh, and Sean Scannell all found the net in the Championship, while further afield Robbie Keane's LA Galaxy slumped to a playoff defeat

ANALYSIS
By Ronan Murphy

PREMIER LEAGUE

Ciaran Clark returned to the Aston Villa starting eleven, and was solid at the back as Paul Lambert's side kept their second clean sheet of the season in a rare victory over Sunderland. John O'Shea did well for Sunderland and should have been awarded a penalty, while Stephen Ireland was pulling the strings in the Villa midfield. Enda Stevens came off the bench with 20 minutes remaining to make his Premier League debut, and didn't do much wrong.

James McCarthy did well in midfield for Wigan Athletic as they recorded a one-goal victory over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Englishman Ben Watson scored the only goal of the game, but Wigan also had McCarthy to thank as he headed off the line with Spurs fighting hard to get something from the game.

CHAMPIONSHIP

Conor Sammon scored his first goal since September as Derby County defeated Blackpool 4-1 on Saturday afternoon. Sammon completed the rout with a tap-in, which hopefully will help his confidence and see him find the scoresheet more regularly. It's just his second goal in 13 league games this season.

Ireland under-21 international Sean Scannell bagged the only goal for Huddersfield Town in their 1-0 win over Bristol City. The goal is Scannell's first since signing from Crystal Palace in the summer.

Andy Keogh had a fantastic cameo appearance for Millwall, coming off the bench with nine minutes to go and adding a goal in their 4-1 away win over Nottingham Forest. Keogh volleyed in just three minutes after being introduced for his third goal of the season.

FA CUP

Two goals from former Ireland B international Lee Frecklington saw Rotherham United record a hard-fought FA Cup First Round victory over Stevenage Town. Frecklington scored two goals in three minutes to see Rotherham progress with a 3-2 win.

Barry Corr made his first start in a year and a half for Southend United, and had the perfect comeback, heading the opener in a 3-0 win over Stockport County. A series of knee, back, and groin injuries had kept him out all last season curtailing his career with the Shrimpers.

James Berrett scored a stunning 30-yard strike as Carlisle United defeated Ebbsfleet Town 4-2 to advance to the second round. Berrett's 81st minute goal helped halt an Ebbsfleet comeback.

Isthmian Premier Division side Metropolitan Police almost staged a cup upset against Crawley Town, but a second-half goal from Corkman Billy Clarke gave the League One side a 2-1 win.

SCOTLAND

Gavin Gunning and Jon Daly both went close for Dundee United in a thrilling 2-2 game with Celtic at Tannadice. Two goals in the last two minutes gave Dundee United a share of the spoils, while also seeing the Bhoys return to the top of the SPL on goal difference.

Northern Ireland international Niall McGinn extended his scoring streak for Aberdeen, but could not help his side stage a late comeback against Ross County, instead going down 2-1 at Victoria Park.

Rangers recorded a 7-0 win in the Scottish Cup, but Brechin City will have to play again, despite former Ireland youth international Andy Jackson scoring in their 2-2 draw with SJFA East Superleague side Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic.

FURTHER AFIELD
 
LA Galaxy slumped to a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of the western conference semi-final on Sunday night, as San Jose Earthquakes took away a 94th minute victory from the Home Depot Center. Ireland captain Robbie Keane had four attempts on goal, but could not put the ball past Jon Busch.

In Sweden, Robert Walker helped Forward BK to a 2-1 win over Sandviken in the Division 1 Norra with his 10th goal of the season, as Forward moved joint top of the third tier. Walker's brother Kevin has been ever-present for GIF Sundsvall in the Allsvenskan, with the top tier side sitting in mid-table. The players are sons of Carlow-born manager and former Bohemians midfielder Pat Walker.

IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND

Goalkeeper:
Stephen Henderson (Ipswich)

Defenders: Keith Keane (Preston), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Alan Bennett (Cheltenham), Michael Liddle (Accrington)

Midfielders: Lee Frecklington (Rotherham), Sean Scannell (Huddersfield), James McCarthy (Wigan Athletic)

Forwards: Robert Walker (Forward), Conor Sammon (Derby), Barry Corr (Southend)

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