Shane Long inspired West Brom to a 2-1 win over Chelsea with a goal and an assist, while Anthony Pilkington was also on target in the Premier League
By Ronan Murphy
A man of the match performance from Shane Long helped West Bromwich Albion defeat Chelsea 2-1 on Saturday afternoon. Long opened the scoring with a well-taken header, and had a big part to play in West Brom's winner, crossing for Peter Odemwingie to head home. The victory keeps the Baggies in the top four.
In the evening match on Saturday, Norwich City beat Manchester United 1-0. Former Ireland under-21 international Anthony Pilkington scored the game's only goal 30 minutes from time. Wes Hoolahan was impressive once again for Chris Hughton's Canaries, helping them to a deserved victory.
David Forde and Paddy Kenny both started in goal in Sunday's televised Championship game, with Forde's Millwall emerging as 1-0 victors over Leeds United.
Mick McCarthy's Ipswich Town continued their inconsistent form with a 6-0 loss to Leicester City. Stephen Henderson started in goal for the Tractor Boys, and will want to forget this game quickly. However, despite the loss, Ipswich are in a much better position now than when McCarthy took over, and are just two points from safety.
A thrilling first-half saw five goals go in at Brunton Park, where Leyton Orient beat Carlisle United 4-1. Dubliner Dave Mooney scored the game's first and last goals for the Os, while Peter Murphy grabbed a consolation goal for Carlisle with a 25th minute header.
Two goals from James Collins helped Swindon Town beat Yeovil Town 4-1 and take his League One tally to four this season. Billy Clarke also notched his fourth goal of the season on Friday evening in Crawley Town's 2-2 draw with Walsall.
Adam Barton was on target for Coventry City in their 5-0 away win over Hartlepool United, while Stephen Gleeson scored the only goal in MK Don's win against Tranmere Rovers.
Burton Albion beat Dagenham & Redbridge 3-2 to move into the playoffs. Limerick-born Damien McCrory scored a deflected shot to tie the game at 1-1 and give Burton the impetus to win the match.
Lee Frecklington killed off the game for Rotherham United as they defeated Cheltenham Town 4-2 to keep the Millers' playoff hopes alive.
Mark Byrne scored from the spot as Barnet drew 1-1 with Accrington Stanley, with former Sligo Rovers midfielder Romauld Boco giving Accrington the go-ahead goal.
Dundee United and Kilmarnock's SPL tie on Friday night had a huge Irish involvement, and five of the six goals scored in the 3-3 draw came from Irishmen. Cillian Sheridan's first half double gave Killie the lead, with Paul Heffernan continuing his good run with a header to make it 3-1. However, Dundee United captain Jon Daly gave the Terrors a share of the spoils with two second half goals - taking his tally to four for the season.
Celtic regained top spot in Scotland as Pat Fenlon's Hibernian slipped up, going down 3-1 to Dundee. Irish defender Alan Maybury was responsible for Dundee's third goal, fouling Colin Nish in the box to give away a penalty.
Despite helping his side to a 4-3 second leg victory in the relegation playoff, it looks like Kevin Walker will be playing second-tier football next season as GIF Sundsvall suffered a 6-4 aggregate loss to Halmstad to move down to the Swedish Superettan.
Barry Maguire kept his place in the VVV Venlo starting eleven for their trip to Amsterdam to face Ajax, but could not make an impact from the right wing as Frank De Boer's side ran out 2-0 winners.
|IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND
Goalkeeper: David Forde (Millwall)
Defenders: Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace), John Egan (Bradford), Marcos Painter (Brighton)
Midfielders: Damien McCrory (Burton), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich), Mark Byrne (Barnet) Anthony Pilkington (Norwich)
Forwards: Shane Long (West Brom), Jon Daly (Dundee Utd), Cillian Sheridan (Kilmarnock)