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Former League of Ireland stars on target across the Football League

It was a good weekend for Ireland manager Martin O’Neill ahead of March’s vital World Cup qualifier against Wales, with Robbie Brady, among others, also finding the back of the net.

First-team chances had been limited for Murphy at Newcastle at the start of of the season.
First-team chances had been limited for Murphy at Newcastle at the start of of the season.
Image: Owen Humphreys

Updated 22:05

A HOST OF former League of Ireland stars were on the scoresheet for their sides across the Football League today, with several international players also shining across the divisions.

In the Championship, former Waterford United striker Daryl Murphy scored his third goal in as many games as Newcastle United romped home to a 4-0 win over at Rotherham United.

Robbie Brady, who continues to be linked with a January move to the Premier League, converted from the spot in Norwich’s 3-1 win over Wolves to ease the pressure on manager Alex Neil. Wes Hoolahan also started for the Canaries, and won the penalty for the home side.

Former Bohemians defender Matt Doherty ended up acting as a makeshift goalkeeper for the spot kick against his fellow Dubliner, after Wolves had no substitutes remaining following goalkeeper Carl Ikeme’s sending off, with Jonny Howson also netting one past the former Ireland U21 international.

Highly-rated Ireland youth international Liam Kelly set up two goals as Reading’s promotion hopes took a hit with a 3-2 defeat at Derby County.

Former Dundalk defender Andy Boyle earned a spot in Preston’s matchday squad for the first time since moving to the club, as his side came from two goals down to snatch a point at Aston Villa, with Daryl Horgan also starting on the bench.

The Lilywhites did have Irish duo Alan Browne and Aiden McGeady in their starting XI, but were without the suspended Greg Cunningham.

Albert Adomah gave Villa the lead in the 22nd minute, before he drew a foul from McGeady in the box to double the home side’s advantage from the spot, with Steve Bruce’s men leading 2-0 at the break.

Horgan was introduced on the hour mark, just as Preston started their fightback, with McGeady crossing for Jordan Hugill’s second goal to earn a draw.

Earlier in the day, former Mervue and Galway United man Ryan Manning opened his account for QPR in their home draw with Fulham.

Queens Park Rangers v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship - Loftus Road Manning celebrates his first goal in English football. Source: EMPICS Sport

In League One, former St Pat’s midfielder Chris Forrester netted the winner in his side’s win at Swindon Town, while former Cork City defender Eoghan O’Connell, who is on-loan from Celtic, fired Walsall in front in their 3-1 victory over Bristol Rovers.

Former Liverpool youth product Darren Potter also found the back of the net in his side’s thrilling 5-3 win over Northampton Town.

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