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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 24 February 2021
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Dara O’Shea helps West Brom to a clean sheet as they take another step towards the Premier League

The Republic of Ireland U21 defender helped the Baggies to a routine 2-0 win over Preston on a night when senior Ireland international Alan Browne captained the visitors and teammate Seani Maguire was kept quiet by the young Dubliner.

West Brom players celebrate their second goal.
West Brom players celebrate their second goal.
Image: David Davies

WEST BROMWICH ALBION have moved ever closer to the Premier League as they stretched their lead at the top of the Championship to seven points.

Republic of Ireland U21 defender Dara O’Shea helped the Baggies to a routine 2-0 win over Preston on a night when senior Ireland international Alan Browne captained the visitors and teammate Seani Maguire was kept quiet by the young Dubliner.

First-half goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and captain Jake Livermore punished some poor defending from Preston and they also had to play the last 26 minutes with 10 men when right-back Darnell Fisher was shown a straight red card.

Slaven Bilic’s side have moved further clear of second-placed Leeds, who play on Wednesday, while their advantage over Nottingham Forest in third is now a healthy 10 points.

fleetwood-town-v-coventry-city-sky-bet-league-one-highbury-stadium Glenn Whelan in action for Fleetwood last month. Source: Richard Sellers

Callum Robinson, the on-loan Sheffield United attacker, was another Ireland star who shone on the night, floating in a fine cross for Robson-Kanu’s opener.

Luton Town, meanwhile, secured a nervy 2-1 win at home to Brentford, although Ireland forward James Collins couldn’t find the net, meaning he has just two goals in his last 10 games.

Ryan Manning’s good form for QPR continues, however, as the Galway native helped his side to a 2-1 win at home to Derby County. Jason Knight, who has been watched by Ireland manager Mick McCarthy in recent weeks, was an unused substitute for the visitors.

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In League One, Glenn Whelan completed another 90 minutes of action for Fleetwood Town but Joey Barton’s charges conceded a 97th minute equaliser away to Sunderland which pushed them out of the play-off places.

Portsmouth moved back in at Fleetwood’s expense. They sit in fifth courtesy of a 3-1 win at home to Milton Keynes, however the goals have dried up somewhat for Ronan Curtis who has now gone six without hitting the net.

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