Irish Abroad: Noel Hunt double ensures Reading progress

Goals from Noel Hunt and Darren Potter helped both Reading and MK Dons advance to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup, while Celtic slipped up in the Scottish League Cup semi-final
By Ronan Murphy


Two goals from striker Noel Hunt saw Reading record a comfortable 4-0 victory over Sheffield United in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. Hunt opened the scoring for the Premier League side with a header, before bundling in a shot after the break to set up a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the Fifth Round.

Milton Keynes Dons will have a much easier task, hosting Barnsley at Denbigh Stadium, after overcoming Premier League opposition in the Fourth Round. Former Ireland international midfielder Darren Potter struck the fourth for MK Dons in a 4-2 win over Queens Park Rangers.

Liverpool were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup on Sunday with Oldham Athletic recording a shock 3-2 victory over Brendan Rodgers' youngsters. Luis Suarez got the better of former Scunthorpe United defender Cliff Byrne early on, but the Dubliner improved as the game went on, putting in some superb blocks and interceptions to set up a Fifth Round tie with Everton.

Sean O'Driscoll recorded his first victory as Bristol City manager, seeing his side score a late winner against Ipswich Town. Mick McCarthy's Tractor Boys took the lead after half an hour through Daryl Murphy's strike. However, Bristol City debutant Brendan Moloney made an instant impact at his new club, crossing for Jon Stead's 90th minute winner.

Stephen Hunt returned to the Wolverhampton Wanderers line-up for the first time since September, coming off the bench for the last 20 minute of their 2-1 loss to Blackpool. The 31-year-old had been sidelined with a hip injury, but has returned to help Wolves battle relegation.

A header from Dave Mooney helped Leyton Orient defeat Notts County 2-1 at the Matchroom Stadium. The Magpies tried to fight back from two goals down, with Athlone-born left-back Alan Sheehan having a hand in their late consolation goal.

Coventry City missed a chance to close the gap on the playoffs, but despite dominating for large parts of the match, could only draw 2-2 away at Preston North End. Former Cork City striker Graham Cummins opened the scoring for the hosts from close range, beating Joe Murphy for his first goal since November.


Southend United climbed into the playoffs with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Chesterfield. The Shrimpers were on the back foot for large parts of the match with Michael Spillane putting in a strong shift to help the visitors keep a clean sheet.

Morecambe recorded a late victory over Dagenham and Redbridge to move eight points clear of relegation. Barry Roche had to work hard between the posts to see the Shrimps climb to 16th in the table.


Jon Daly was involved in the build-up to Dundee United's opener as they drew 1-1 with Ross County in the Scottish Premier League. Gavin Gunning had an early chance for the hosts, but could only head into the side netting.

St Mirren set up a Scottish League Cup Final tie with Hearts after an impressive 3-2 victory over Celtic on Sunday. Neil Lennon sent on striker Anthony Stokes for his second appearance since August as the Bhoys chased the game late on.


Barry Roche (Morecambe)

Defenders: Brendan Moloney (Bristol City), Cliff Byrne (Oldham), Michael Spillane (Southend), Alan Sheehan (Notts County)

Midfielders: Darren Potter (MK Dons), Jim Goodwin (St. Mirren), Paul Green (Leeds)

Forwards: Noel Hunt (Reading), Graham Cummins (Preston), Dave Mooney (Preston)