Aston Villa’s disastrous start to the Championship season continued last night as a Glenn Whelan own goal left them 2-1 losers against Reading, writes Stephen Barry.
The Championship big-spenders have failed to win in three league games, and Whelan’s deflection was compounded by the earlier loss of Irish-eligible striker Scott Hogan to an ankle injury, a day after his wish to play for Martin O’Neill’s side became public.
An 87th-minute Conor Hourihane strike proved only a consolation for the John Terry-captained side, with Reading captain Paul McShane and Liam Kelly playing 90 minutes for the victors.
Daryl Murphy scored a second goal in two games for his new club Nottingham Forest, but their winning streak came to an end at Barnsley, losing 2-1.
Name a more consistent Championship goalscorer than Daryl Murphy.
Ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Georgia (September 2) and Serbia (September 5), O’Neill will be encouraged by the form of Middlesbrough defensive duo, goalie Darren Randolph and right-back Cyrus Christie.
The likely Irish starters kept a second consecutive clean sheet as Boro beat Burton Albion 2-0.
Some #BORO fans were too quick to right off Randolph and Christie just because of what some mindless idiots wrote on here. Both good buys👏— YOUAREMYBORO 🏴🏴 (@THEREALBORO) August 15, 2017
Leeds United played out a 0-0 draw against Fulham, with manager Thomas Christiansen praising 21-year-old defender Conor Shaughnessy after making his debut.
“He did very well. I’ve said before that he’s a young player with not much experience but he did well and he was under big pressure against a good team,” said Christiansen, who also started Eunan O’Kane.
Conor Shaughnessy vs. Fulham:
72% pass accuracy
Very impressive tonight. 👏 pic.twitter.com/RjovTmj2ju— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) August 15, 2017
David Meyler scored a well-taken 100th-minute penalty for Hull City after coming on as a late substitute at home to Wolves, but his side still lost 3-2 to a team which included uncapped Ireland call-up Matt Doherty.
Aiden O’Brien was also on the scoresheet for a losing side, as Millwall lost 4-3 to Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town.
David McGoldrick got an assist for the Tractor Boys.
Another Ireland call-up Sean Maguire didn’t start but received praise for a 20-minute appearance as Preston North End failed to rescue anything from a 1-0 loss at Derby.
Sean Maguire has been fucking superb since coming on. And I'm not just saying it to get some RT's and likes from Irish people either..— North End Report (@northendreport) August 15, 2017
“The subs that came on certainly improved us and they did well when they came on, so that's something for us to think about. We changed the shape quite early for the last 25, 30 minutes and we played with two up front and I thought Sean looked lively,” said PNE manager Alex Neil.
Daryl Horgan also came off the bench, while captain Greg Cunningham and Alan Browne started.
Richard Keogh kept a clean sheet against Maguire and co.