Eunan O'Kane: the Derry lad gave Wigan a scare at the DW Stadium. Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Boys in Green

Irish Eye: O'Kane dabbles in a spot of cup magic

There was plenty of Irish interest in the FA Cup third round this weekend. Here are some of the highlights.

EVERY MONDAY, WE scan the passports, check the family trees and cross-reference with the “granny rule” to keep you informed about the ups and downs of all the Irish (and Irish-eligible) footballers in England, Scotland and further afield.

Think of us as the Tardelli to your Trap, if you will…

FA Cup

Shane Long (QPR 1-1 West Bromwich Albion)

Shane Long marked the new year with his first goal since 24 November but it wasn’t enough to see West Brom past a defiant QPR at Loftus Road on Saturday. Long’s ninth goal of the season came in the 79th minute, helped on its way by a deflection off Nedum Onuoha, before Kieron Dyer equalised to force a replay.

Noel Hunt (Crawley Town 1-3 Reading)

Noel Hunt helped Reading dodge an FA Cup upset as Brian McDermott’s side rallied to come from behind against League One Crawley Town. After a few substitute appearances over the Christmas period, Hunt returned to the starting line-up for Saturday’s game at Broadfield Stadium and scored in the 44th minute, turning home Garath McCleary’s cross to put the visitors 2-1 ahead.

Conor Sammon and Jeff Hendrick (Derby County 5-0 Tranmere Rovers)

Two of Derby’s Irish contingent were on the scoresheet as the Rams breezed past Tranmere Rovers on Saturday. Sammon scored his seventh goal of the season in the 54th minute, captalising on a lapse in the Tranmere defence to score from 12 yards out, while Hendrick capped a fine all-round performance with a strike from the edge of the area in the 72nd minute.

Eunan O’Kane (Wigan 1-1 Bournemouth)

Republic of Ireland U21 international Eunan O’Kane gave Wigan a scare with a first-half cracker that threatened to dump the Latics out of the cup on Saturday. The Derry native put the League One side in front with a 20-yard strike four minutes before the break, but Jordi Gomez forced a replay with an equaliser in the 70th minute.

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