How the Irish fared: Stephen Gleeson back to bite MK Dons as Birmingham remain unbeaten

In-form Stephen Gleeson returned to haunt MK Dons on Saturday, scoring the opening goal as Birmingham maintained their unbeaten start to the season to climb to seventh in the Championship.

How the Irish fared: Stephen Gleeson back to bite MK Dons as Birmingham remain unbeaten

Gleeson spent five years with MK Dons but there was no sign of divided loyalties as he followed up his goal against Derby with another fine effort against his former employers.

Birmingham boss Gary Rowett was quick to hail Gleeson’s contribution.

“Stephen’s on fire at the moment,” Rowett said. “He is playing with great confidence. He can do no wrong. It was a brilliant finish.”

However, Gleeson’s afternoon ended painfully after a tackle described by Rowett as “poor” saw the midfielder forced off with an ankle injury.

“It was a bit disappointing to see him get carried off,” Rowett said. “I thought it was a poor challenge. He’s gone over on his ankle. And with the impact and landing around the advertising boards, he had to come off. We think it’s not too serious.”

The big Championship game of the weekend saw two Irish managers come head-to-head as Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich hosted Chris Hughton’s Brighton. And it was Hughton’s men who came out of top, winning 3-2 to leapfrog the Tractor Boys and go top.

“It was a super game and a very good spectacle for the Championship,” Hughton said. “We showed great character.”

Despite the defeat, McCarthy was proud of Ipswich’s second-half fightback as, helped by a David McGoldrick penalty, they came from 2-0 down to level 2-2 before falling just short.

The Ipswich boss said: “In the first half they were excellent — you have to give them credit. But I thought our response in the second half was great.”

Elsewhere, Joe Mason got on the end of an effort from Anthony Pilkington to score Cardiff City’s second in their 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest. Victory lifted the Bluebirds to fifth and manager Russell Slade was thrilled with Mason’s intervention.

He said: “Mason came up with a real striker’s goal, just getting a great little touch on the ball to guide it home.”

In League One, Jay O’Shea scored twice to lift Chesterfield sixth after a 2-0 win at Millwall which delighted manager Dean Saunders.

“He’s playing out of his skin at the minute,” Saunders said.

Paddy Madden scored an early goal but cut a frustrated figure as Scunthorpe surrendered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Colchester. Madden said: “It’s obviously nice to get the goal, but we’re all hurting now because we’ve thrown away a two-goal lead.”

In League Two, Graham Carey’s fourth goal of the season ensured Plymouth beat Newport 1-0 to climb to second.

Plymouth boss Derek Adams said: “Graham has come into the club and hit the ground running. I am delighted with the progress he has made and he took his goal really well.

“He is a very capable player and he scores a good number of goals from midfield.”

Callum O’Dowda made the first and scored the second as Oxford United beat Yeovil Town 2-0.

In the Scottish Premiership, Adam Rooney was at centre of controversy amid suggestions he handled the ball before scoring Aberdeen’s first goal in their 2-0 win at Partick Thistle. Alan Archibald, the Partick Thistle boss, said it was a “blatant handball” and his opposite number, Derek McInnes, conceded Rooney got lucky.

He said: “I can understand why Thistle feel aggrieved. We maybe got a little break.”

Elsewhere, Sean Dillon was on the scoresheet as Dundee United lost 2-1 to Ross County.

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