How the Irish fared: Aiden McGeady summons slice of forgotten brilliance

Aiden McGeady began the latest chapter of his career by scoring on his Preston debut on Saturday but his fine strike from 25 yards wasn’t enough to earn his new employers anything in their Championship clash with Barnsley.

Preston were trailing 1-0 when McGeady produced a flash of the brilliance he possesses but so rarely showcases to haul them level. 

 

It was a goal that deserved to count for something but, with 11 minutes remaining, Barnsley went 2-1 in front, an advantage they wouldn’t relinquish.

McGeady’s career has been on the slide for quite some time now and he really needs to make his loan spell at Deepdale count.

The result may have gone against his team but, on a personal level, Saturday’s display was a significant step in the right direction for the former Celtic man.

Anthony Pilkington was the only other Irish scorer in the Championship at the weekend but his late brace also counted for nought as Cardiff City lost 3-2 to Norwich. The Canaries’ victory was achieved, despite the loss of Robbie Brady to injury after just 11 minutes.

Norwich City manager Alex Neil expects the injury will keep Ireland’s new No. 10 out of tomorrow’s clash with Wigan.

Neil said: “It was a late tackle and he took a knock at the top of his leg. He is still a bit sore but hopefully it is nothing worse than a dead leg. I don’t think it is anything serious but I don’t think he will make Tuesday.”

It was a bad weekend for Chris Hughton as his Brighton side crashed to a 2-0 defeat at home to Brentford.

“We were beaten by the better side,” Hughton said. “Brentford kept the ball better and we didn’t impose ourselves on the game.

“There is no doubt that goals change games and it’s how you react afterwards. In this game it was important for the team who got the first goal and it made us a bit desperate in our game.”

In League One, fit-again Paddy Madden marked his first start of the season by scoring as Scunthorpe hammered Southend 4-0 to climb to second.

“It’s good to be back. I just need to get a bit more fitness now and get back to my usual self,” Madden said. “It’s always good to get a goal, but more importantly the win.”

Madden’s manager spoke of his delight at having his leading striker back.

“I’m delighted for Paddy because he’s worked extremely hard to get back to a level of fitness. We know what a threat he is and his energy levels and commitment to the team triggers off the rest of the team with the pressing game we try and implement.”

Elsewhere in League One, Aiden O’Brien rescued a 1-1 draw for Millwall against Coventry while Niall Canavan was sent off for a second bookable offence in Rochdale’s 2-2 draw at Bristol Rovers.

In League Two, Graham Carey scored as leaders Plymouth beat Cambridge United 2-1 while John O’Sullivan netted in Accrington Stanley’s 2-0 win at Notts County.

Elsewhere, Glenn Rea’s strike couldn’t stop Luton from losing 2-1 at home to Grimsby while James Collins also netted in a losing cause as Crawley lost 2-1 at Stevenage.


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