Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
PA Hourihane celebrates his winning goal.
# Irish Eye
Ogbene finds net on Rotherham's Championship return, Hourihane scores winning goal for Derby
A round-up of the opening-day action in the Championship and League One.

IRISH INTERNATIONAL CHIEDOZIE Ogbene was on target as promoted Rotherham returned to the Championship with an opening-day 1-1 draw with Swansea City. 

Ogbene opened the scoring after 16 minutes, which was cancelled out by Harry Darling seven minutes before the break. Irish international Michael Obafemi fluffed his lines from close range in the second half to spurn a potential winning goal for Swansea. Former Bohemians striker Georgie Kelly made his Championship debut as a substitute for Rotherham midway through the second half, while Ryan Manning played the final 20 minutes off the Swansea bench. 

Another Irish international, Will Keane, missed one of the best chances as promoted Wigan opened with a 0-0 draw at home to Preston, a side laden with Irish internationals. Troy Parrott made his full debut for North End, and was denied an opening-day goal by a fine save by goalkeeper Ben Amos in the closing stages of the first half. 

Parrott was joined in the starting line-up by compatriots Robbie Brady and Alan Browne. Parrott and Brady were replaced on the 72-minute mark, with Parrott’s replacement, Ched Evans, sent off eight minutes after his introduction. James McClean started for Wigan, with Jamie McGrath an unused substitute. 

Andrew Omobamidele completed his long-awaited return from injury but his Norwich side fell to a shock 1-0 loss to Cardiff City, Romaine Sawyers’ winning goal set up by Irish international Callum O’Dowda. Adam Idah was uninvolved for the Canaries. 

Millwall opened with a 2-0 win at home to Stoke City, for whom Irish U21 internationals Will Smallbone and Gavin Kilkenny made debuts as second-half substitutes. 

Blackburn Rovers beat QPR 1-0, though Irish underage international Sinclair Armstrong wasted a good chance to equalise after he was introduced as a second-half replacement. 

Jeff Hendrick’s league debut for Reading ended in 1-0 defeat to Blackpool, for whom CJ Hamilton made a substitute appearance in the game’s closing stages. Shane Long made his second Reading debut in the same circumstance. 

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Elsewhere, Hull City came from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1, while former Ireland assistant John Eustace began his reign as Birmingham manager with a 0-0 draw away to Luton Town. 

In League One, Conor Hourihane scored the winning goal in front of more than 30,000 fans as Derby County made a winning start to life in England’s third tier. Pride Park rocked to the sound of Derby fans putting years of financial turmoil and huge uncertainty behind them, with Hourihane capping the afternoon with a goal 10 minutes from the end. 

Jason Knight started at right-back for Derby, with Irish international striker James Collins and U21 defender Eiran Cashin also in action. 

Elsewhere in League One, Promise Omochere, signed from Bohemians this summer, started and provided an assist for Fleetwood in a 2-1 loss to Port Vale. 

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