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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019
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Irish Eye: Wilson on the mark

It was a busy St Stephen’s Day for the Irish in the top flight in Britain.

Stoke City's Marc Wilson, centre, celebrates scoring yesterday.
Stoke City's Marc Wilson, centre, celebrates scoring yesterday.
Image: Barrington Coombs/EMPICS Sport

ST STEPHEN’S DAY is always a great day for cross-channel football.

While the arctic weather got the best of many lower league fixtures, only two Premier League matches did not go ahead. In Scotland two games were also abandoned.

Marc Wilson – Stoke City

He may only have come on in the 89th minute, but with the complete lack of Irish goalscorers this season, it was refreshing to see his name on the goalsheet.

In stoppage time, a Gael Givet error was pounced on by Ricardo Fuller, who ripped in a cross for Marc Wilson to put it in to the bottom corner.

Fingers crossed this goal will give Wilson the opportunity to get more game time in the coming weeks.

Stephen Hunt – Wolves

Has seen himself in and out of the Wolves team since his recovery from injury.

Very much the best of a bad lot for Wolves yesterday and tried his best to get Wolves back into a game in which they were well outplayed. Disappointing result for Hunt and the catalogue of Irish players at Molineux.

Stephen Ward can consider himself very unlucky not to have won a penalty for Wolves.

Darron Gibson – Manchester Untied

In danger of becoming the forgotten man at Old Trafford, Gibson was introduced as a 63rd minute substitute in place of the very impressive Anderson.

Gibson was thrown straight into the action after Berbatov back-heeled the ball into his path, but his bending shot went straight at Gordon.

Gibson was later unlucky with his trademark shot from distance, which Berbatov almost put in on the rebound. Again, Irish fans will hope Gibson gets more run outs over the next nine days when Manchester United will be playing three times.

In the same game, Meyler came on after 69 minutes for Sunderland, and can count himself very lucky not to have been sent off for a bad tackle on Rafael.

Daryl Murply – Celtic

Settling well into life in Scotland.

Disappointingly Anthony Stokes only came on after 60 minutes. Murphy had a good effort in the first half that was well saved by Peter Enckelman. Murphy again had some very good opportunities in the second half, but could not net any of them.Will fell a bit upset at not scoring but at least he is getting into the right positions.

Elsewhere, there was still no sign of Richard Dunne for Aston Villa. The Dubliner seems to have burned his bridges with manager Gerard Houllier.

Ciaran Clark of Villa and Aaron Doran of Blackburn, two very exciting prospects for Ireland, were both unused subs.

In some good news, James McCarthy is making a good recovery from his injury and should be back in the Wigan first team towards the end of January.

Michael Maher writes about Irish football at GreenScene

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