The weather played havoc with the weekend cross-channel fixtures causing many games to be postponed, but plenty of Irishmen were in action in the top tiers in England and Scotland
By Ronan Murphy
There were no Irishmen on the scoresheet in the Premier League this weekend, but Darron Gibson was instrumental in Everton's 2-1 away over West Ham United. Everton twice came from behind, but the real talking points after the game were the red cards given out to Carlton Cole and Gibson for high, dangerous challenges.
Ciaran Clark captained Aston Villa once again, but will want to forget their trip to Chelsea, as Paul Lambert's side were on the end of an 8-0 trashing. Villa were poor all over the pitch, but despite the size of the defeat, goalkeeper Brad Guzan gave a good account of himself - much to the dismay of Donegal's Shay Given.
Peterborough United and Bolton Wanderers played out an epic nine-goal game at London Road, with Republic of Ireland midfielder twice finding the scoresheet for the visitors. Peterborough left with a 5-4 win, but Andrews will be happy as he converted two penalty kicks in a thrilling affair.
Stephen Dawson was on target for Barnsley away to Millwall, as they recorded their first win in 11 games. Dubliner Dawson put the ball past David Forde for the opener, after his fellow Irishman parried the ball out to him. The 2-1 victory moves the Tykes up to 22nd, level with Sheffield Wednesday in the battle for safety.
Hull City are level on points with Cardiff City at the top of the table thanks to a 2-1 win over Derby County on Friday night. Irish duo Stephen Quinn and Robbie Brady played a large part in the two Tigers goals, with Quinn's wing play creating space for Robert Koren's opener and Brady's corner nodded in by Abdoulaye Faye for the winner.
Six League One games were called off on Saturday due to waterlogged pitches, but a few games did go ahead on Friday and Saturday. Bury and Shrewsbury Town played out a 2-2 draw on Friday evening, with Republic of Ireland under-19 defender Matt Doherty getting on the scoresheet for his third goal of the season in all competitions.
On Saturday, Paddy Madden netted Yeovil Town's fourth in their comfortable 4-1 win over Oldham Athletic, a result which sees Yeovil climb to 11th in the table.
Due to all the cancellations in League Two, Barnet moved out of the relegation zone thanks to a 3-2 win over Burton Albion on Friday evening. Graham Stack had to work hard in the Barnet goal to keep out the visitors, who were on top for large periods of the game, and was only beaten by two penalty kicks.
Kilmarnock put a further dent in Hibernian's SPL title aspirations with a 1-1 draw at Rugby Park. Paul Heffernan opened the scoring for the hosts with a lob from the edge of the area before fellow Irishman Eoin Doyle met Leigh Griffiths' cross for the equaliser.
Northern Irish striker Niall McGinn scored both of Aberdeen's goals in their 2-0 win over St. Johnstone, moving the Dons ahead of Hibs on goal difference for third place.
Barry Maguire scored his second goal of the season for VVV Venlo, giving them a 2-0 lead over Roda JC in the Eredivisie. However, the visitors came back with four goals in 12 minutes during the second half to record a 4-2 win to climb above VVV and out of the relegation zone.
PAOK set up a Greek Cup quarter-final tie with GS Kallithea after a 5-2 aggregate win over Aiginiakos. Liam Lawrence played the full 90 minutes of the second leg for PAOK, setting up Apostolis Giannou for his side's opener in the 2-1 victory.
|IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND
Goalkeeper: Aaron McCarey (Walsall)
Defenders: Matt Doherty (Bury), Michael Liddle (Accrington), Tommie Hoban (Watford)
Midfielders: Stephen Quinn (Hull), Stephen Dawson (Barnsley), Keith Andrews (Bolton), Robbie Brady (Hull)
Forwards: Eoin Doyle (Hibernian), Paddy Madden (Yeovil), Paul Heffernan (Kilmarnock)