The Celtic striker netted twice in the Hoops' 6-2 defeat of Dundee United, while there were plenty of other Irish players impressing cross-channel and further afield
By Ronan Murphy
Eight-time Republic of Ireland international Jonathan Douglas captained Brentford at Stamford Bridge in Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round replay, but could not help his side repeat their heroics of the home tie, as the Bees suffered a 4-0 defeat to the Premier League giants.
Non-league Luton Town's cup run was halted at the fifth round as they lost 3-0 to Championship opponents Millwall. The Hatters proved to be a match for the Lions for most of the game, but could not beat Ireland number one David Forde in the Millwall goal.
The victory sees Millwalll set up a quarter-final match with fellow Championship side Blackburn Rovers, who could field Leon Best up front, with the striker due to make his return from injury in a reserve game against Sunderland on Tuesday.
A revitalised Nottingham Forest looked to get their first win under new manager Billy Davies against Bolton Wanderers, but were denied time and again by an impressive performance from goalkeeper Adam Bogdan in a 1-1 draw.
The Hungarian pulled off an excellent save from Simon Cox midway through the first half, but was finally beaten by fellow Irishman Andy Reid, who volleyed in from the edge of the area in the 59th minute.
Hull City kept up the pressure on league leaders Cardiff City with a 1-0 victory over Charlton Athletic. David Meyler saw an early chance cleared off the line after some good work from Paul McShane, while fellow Irish international Robbie Brady was involved in the game's only goal. Brady's corner was poorly cleared in the 33th minute, allowing Mohamed Gedo to squeeze the ball in. McShane also injured a hamstring and is rated doubtful for Ireland's World Cup qualification double header next month.
League One top scorer Paddy Madden continued his scoring streak, with his 10th goal in seven consecutive games, helping Yeovil Town to a 3-0 win over Scunthorpe United. Madden is now up to 18 goals in the league this season, with the Glovers sitting just one point behind leaders Bournemouth.
Two late goals from Hartlepool United saw them emerge 2-1 winners in a scrappy game against Leyton Orient at Victoria Park. The Os took the lead from the penalty spot after a handball in the area, with former Ireland international midfielder Martin Rowlands keeping his nerve to slot home.
Two goals from 22-year-old Kilkenny native Jimmy Keohane gave Exeter City a 2-0 win over Accrington Stanley. Keohane came off the bench with the game scoreless in the 65th minute, but hit twice in three minutes as players around him tired to see Exeter move to third.
Northampton Town kept up their playoff push with a 2-1 win over Southend United. Former Cork City striker Roy O'Donovan gave the Cobblers the lead in the 11th minute after a long-throw found him in the area.
Anthony Stokes helped Celtic to a thumping 6-2 win against Dundee United, winning a penalty and scoring twice himself to take his SPL tally to three for the 2012-13 season. Stokes has made just five league appearances for the Hoops this season, but has re-established himself in Neil Lennon's side after returning from an ankle injury.
Kilmarnock recorded a 3-0 away win against Hearts, with Paul Heffernan scoring a hat-trick for the visitors. The Dubliner scored 15 times for Killie last season, and has eight in 13 appearances in the current campaign.
VVV Venlo recorded their first win in seven games to keep their Eredivisie survival hopes alive, beating NEC 2-1 in Nijmegen. Starting on the right of a 4-5-1 formation, Barry Maguire had a hand in both of VVV's goals, playing in two fine passes as the relegation-struggling side came from a goal down.
Ahead of the resumption of the Russian Premier League season, Spartak Moscow winger Aiden McGeady has started training with the ball following his knee injury. The Ireland international looks set to be fit for Spartak's next league fixture, at home to Terek Grozny on March 9.
|IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND
Goalkeeper: David Forde (Millwall)
Defenders: Paul McShane (Hull), Alan Dunne (Millwall), Richard Keogh (Derby)
Midfielders: Barry Maguire (VVV), Andy Reid (Nottingham Forest), Jimmy Keohane (Exeter), Robbie Brady (Hull)
Forwards: Paddy Madden (Yeovil), Paul Heffernan (Kilmarnock), Anthony Stokes (Celtic)