How the Irish fared: Daryl Murphy shows nose for goal for high-flying Ipswich

It was a case of no pain, no gain for Daryl Murphy this weekend as the Republic of Ireland striker broke his nose scoring Ipswich’s opening goal in their 2-1 Championship win at Fulham.

How the Irish fared: Daryl Murphy shows nose for goal for high-flying Ipswich

Murphy got his head onto a corner to steer the Tractor Boys into an early lead, receiving a painful blow to his nose from a Fulham defender in the process.

Murphy is enjoying the season of his life and curled home a sublime — and painless — second on the stroke of half-time, as Ipswich claimed a win that brought them within two points of an automatic promotion spot.

“I broke my nose. I didn’t even see the first one go in because of the pain,” Murphy said.

“It’s why I was off the pitch for such a long time because they couldn’t stop the bleeding but it was worth it for the three points anyway.”

Murphy’s brace brought his Championship tally for the season to 21, five more than his nearest rival. Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy has challenged the 31-year-old to break the 30-goal barrier.

“Let’s not be lauding over him getting 21,” McCarthy said. “Let’s see if he can get 30. To be fair to him he’s not sitting on his laurels, he’s working hard at it.”

Elsewhere, Keiren Westwood kept another clean sheet — his 14th of the season — as Sheffield Wednesday and Chris Hughton’s Brighton played out a scoreless draw.

In League One, it was a weekend to savour for Dave Mooney as the former Cork City star scored twice to inspire Leyton Orient to a 3-2 win over Chesterfield. Mooney twice hauled Leyton Orient level before they hit a dramatic late winner to move within three points of safety. Chesterfield’s first goal came courtesy of a Jay O’Shea penalty.

Paddy Madden’s 11th league goal of the season gave Scunthorpe the impetus to record a 3-1 win over promotion-chasing Swindon. Madden’s drilled effort hauled Scunthorpe level before fellow Irishman Niall Canavan made it 2-1.

West Brom loanee Bradley Garmston was among the scorers as in-form Gillingham ran out 4-2 winners against MK Dons. Elsewhere, Joe Rafferty’s stunning long range strike counted for nought as Rochdale lost 2-1 at Peterborough.

In League Two, a stinging effort from Liam Lawrence helped leaders Shrewsbury to a 2-0 win over Wimbledon. Barry Corr was also on the mark but his effort came in a losing cause as Southend lost 2-1 to Accrington Stanley.

In the Scottish Premiership, Jim Goodwin was on the scoresheet but St Mirren lost 2-1 at home to Inverness.

John-Joe’s day takes sour turn

Not many Ireland players have a day dedicated to them. On Saturday John-Joe O’Toole was handed such a privilege as League Two side Northampton dedicated the clash with Mansfield to the former Ireland U21 international.

Supporters were encouraged to wear wigs and headbands to resemble their long-haired cult figure.

However, John-Joe O’Toole Day didn’t quite go to script as the 26-year-old, who had already been booked, was sent off for violent conduct after 36 minutes in a game that ended 1-1.

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