How the Irish Fared: ‘Disgrace’ Eoin Doyle in dock over Preston punch-up

Former League of Ireland striker Eoin Doyle faces a whopping internal fine and three-match ban after being branded a disgrace by his Preston manager following his punch-up with his team-mate Jermaine Beckford on Saturday.

Both players were issued with straight red-cards in the last minute at Sheffield Wednesday when an argument over a pass descended into an unsightly fracas. 

Ex-Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers hitman Doyle had reduced the two-goal deficit within two minutes of his 80th-minute introduction from the bench, but drew the ire of his strike partner when opting to shoot rather than pick him out in the last minute.

The resulting skirmish riled North End boss Simon Grayson, who blamed the incident on defeat to the 10-man Owls and promised repercussions.

“Both players will be reprimanded because ultimately it’s cost us the game,” he said.

“It is a joke and a disgrace. I’ve been in the game for 30 years playing and managing and I’ve never been involved with anything like that.

“It is an absolute embarrassment. It was an absolutely ridiculous decision from both of them and I don’t give a monkey’s who started it. 

“I spoke to them in the dressing room and they were apologetic, but that doesn’t wash with me.

“They should be made to apologise to all the supporters who had to pay a ridiculous price of £33 for tickets to come here. 

“With 11 men against their 10, we could have got something out of the game until their stupid decision.”

Two of Preston’s other Irishman, Alan Browne and Aiden McGeady, also had afternoons to forget as they were hauled off at the break with the side a goal behind.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Robbie Brady was amongst the goals as his Norwich City side ended a five-match losing streak by thumping Brentford 5-0. With Wes Hoolahan left on the bench, the Canaries vented their frustration on their visitors, who had John Egan and Ireland target Scott Hogan in their line-up.

Another team to buck a recent trend on Saturday were Paul McShane’s Reading but for all the wrong reasons as they were pummelled 5-0 at Fulham. 

Chasing their sixth win on the bounce, Jaap Stam’s side trailed at the break to an own goal, only to capitulate in a stormy affair, which Liam Kelly featured in for the Royals in the last half hour.

Managerless Rotherham United remain marooned at the bottom following defeat at Burton Albion. Limerick man Anthony Forde, however, was handed his first start in 10 weeks. At the top, Brighton and Hove Albion took some advantage from the defeat of leaders Newcastle United at Nottingham Forest on Friday by nicking a point away to Cardiff City.

Ireland defender Shane Duffy played his part at the back but Richie Towell wasn’t deemed sufficiently match-fit to make the bench.

In yesterday’s FA Cup action, Tuam native Rory Gaffney scored for Bristol Rovers but couldn’t prevent the League One side slumping to a 2-1 defeat against Barrow in one of the shock results of the second round. 

Although the former Limerick striker gave Rovers the lead on 10 minutes, they were soon pegged back and conceded the winner on the hour. Also in the competition, Aiden O’Brien came off the bench to help Millwall seal a place in the third round after they’d endured a tricky time against Braintree Town before prevailing 5-2.

Blackburn Rovers loanee John O’Sullivan added a third for Accrington Stanley in their 3-0 triumph at non-league Woking.


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