By Ronan Murphy
Ian Harte was singled out for praise by manager Brian McDermott after Reading sealed a late 2-1 victory over Sunderland. The Royals took an early lead, but went in level at the break after John O'Shea won a penalty for the visitors. However, Ian Harte had been extremely accurate with his dead balls throughout the game, and flighted a late free-kick onto the head of Jimmy Kebe to give McDermott's side all three points.
Mark Bunn rescued a point for Norwich City against Queens Park Rangers, keeping Harry Redknapp's expensively assembled side scoreless at Loftus Road. Bunn made a few good saves during the game, but looked to have give the away side victory when a poorly-hit backpass saw him take out Jamie Mackie in the box. However, the Irish-eligible keeper made amends, diving to save Adel Taraabt's penalty kick.
Ahead of a possible Republic of Ireland debut against Poland on Wednesday, Richard Keogh showed what he can offer Giovanni Trapattoni's Boys in Green with a goal and a clean sheet for Derby County in their 3-0 win at home to Huddersfield Town. Conor Sammon looked lively, going close on a number of occasions, but it was Keogh who found the net, heading in the Rams' third in the second-half.
Midfielder David Meyler also made his case for inclusion with the only goal of the game in Hull City's 1-0 away win against Millwall. Meyler snuck in to score after just 45 seconds, intercepting a backpass to put the ball past David Forde.
Paddy Madden continued his impressive scoring streak for Yeovil Town, taking his tally to seven goals in his last four games with a first half strike against Brentford. Madden's 14th goal of the season opened the scoring in the 3-0 win, which takes the Glovers up to eighth in the table.
A stunning strike from Harry Arter helped Bournemouth to a 3-0 away win over Milton Keynes Dons. Arter struck the third into the top corner from 25 yards as the Cherries recorded their third successive victory.
A penalty kick for each side saw Crawley Town and Swindon Town play out a 1-1 draw in Saturday evening's League One tie. Billy Clarke scored from the spot in the half to put the hosts ahead, but Adam Rooney converted his penalty kick in the second-half to take a point back to Swindon.
Former Republic of Ireland under-19 international Harry Crawford's 90th minute drive looked to have saved a point for Barnet, but Bristol Rovers struck deep into stoppage time to salvage a 2-1 victory, and push Barnet back into the relegation dogfight.
Jay O'Shea netted his second goal in three games for Chesterfield after sealing a permanent move during the transfer window. The Dubliner gave the visitors the lead in their 1-1 draw at Rochdale.
Dundee United easily overcame Rangers in the Fifth Round of the Scottish Cup, with Jon Daly having a hand in two of the goals that sent the Tangerines into the Quarter Final. Daly headed in a first-half free-kick before setting up Johnny Russell for Dundee United's third in a 3-0 victory.
Kilmarnock advanced to the last-eight with a comfortable 2-0 win against fellow SPL side Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Paul Heffernan's two second-half goals proved the difference between the two sides, setting up a quarter-final tie with Hibernian.
Barry Maguire played 78 minutes as VVV Venlo suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Ajax. VVV are currently struggling, and sit second from the bottom in the Eredivisie, while Ajax kept up the pace on leaders PSV, who recorded a 7-0 victory to stay three points clear of their rivals.
In the Dutch Eerste Divisie, Telstar remain in 13th despite a 2-0 victory over Dordrecht. Ireland under-21 striker Rhys Murphy scored in each half, the first coming from the spot after Roderick Gielisse was sent off for a foul in the area just before half-time.
|IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND
Goalkeeper: Mark Bunn (Norwich)
Defenders: Patrick Kohlmann (Union Berlin), Sean Dillon (Dundee Utd), Richard Keogh (Derby), Ian Harte (Reading)
Midfielders: Jay O'Shea (Chesterfield), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), David Meyler (Hull)
Forwards: Paddy Madden (Yeovil), Rhys Murphy (Telstar), Paul Heffernan (Kilmarnock)