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Irish star Manning makes debut as Swansea move up to second in the Championship

Jay Fulton and Kasey Palmer scored either side of the break.

Swansea City's Jamal Lowe fist bumps with coach Alan Tate (right) at the end of the Sky Bet Championship match at Liberty Stadium.
Swansea City's Jamal Lowe fist bumps with coach Alan Tate (right) at the end of the Sky Bet Championship match at Liberty Stadium.
Image: PA

SWANSEA MOVED into second place in the Championship after beating Stoke 2-0 at the Liberty Stadium.

The game featured the debut of Ryan Manning, after the Irish star’s recent move from QPR.

The Galway native has yet to be capped by the national side at senior level, but was part of the matchday squad during the most recent Nations League clash against Finland.

Jay Fulton scored his first goal of the season in the 30th minute and Kasey Palmer grabbed a debut strike three minutes from the end to condemn Stoke to their first loss in seven games.

Not since 20 September had Michael O’Neill’s side tasted defeat while it was a first win in four games for the home side.

Swansea made a fast start as they looked to banish the frustrations of last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Bristol City.

A great one-two between Connor Roberts and Yan Dhanda down the right allowed the latter to let rip with a fierce left-footed shot which rattled against the post with the game less than two minutes old.

All the pressure came from the home side and Jamal Lowe headed over the bar minutes later and then Dhanda had another chance to shine when he was set free.

This time his touch was too strong and Stoke keeper Adam Davies was able to clear and another golden chance was lost for the home side.

As the pressure mounted on the visitors something had to give and after half an hour the first goal finally arrived.

Centre-back Marc Guehi floated over a cross from the left and Davies’ weak punch merely gifted the ball to Fulton.

The midfielder nonchalantly used the outside of his right boot to scoop the ball into the top-left corner to give his side a deserved lead.

On the stroke of half-time the home side had another great chance to increase their lead but Roberts blasted his free-kick from the edge of the area into the wall and then Dhanda sent his shot from the rebound over the bar.

Stoke pressed forward more in the second half and their first real threat on the home goal came just short of the hour mark when James McClean burst into the box to cause some unrest.

Nothing came of it in the end, nor from a corner which was pushed too close to Freddie Woodman moments later.

Swansea went close again in the 69th minute when substitute goalkeeper Angus Gunn, who replaced Wales international Davies at half-time, tripped over as he went for a back pass and had to put out his hand to stop the ball rolling beyond him towards the goal.

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Referee Andre Marriner awarded an indirect free-kick seven yards out and Andre Ayew’s cannonball shot was kept out by the defensive wall on the line.

But Palmer finished the job three minutes from time when he latched onto a Jake Bidwell cross and headed over Gunn for his first goal for the club since signing on loan from Bristol City.

Meanwhile, Reading scored inside 10 seconds as they continued their best start to a season for 35 years with a 4-2 win at Blackburn on Tuesday.

The Royals are a surprise package following unknown boss Veljko Paunovic’s appointment midway through pre-season as they won for a seventh time from eight games.

The foundations of the victory at Ewood Park were laid in a frantic opening 18 minutes, with Reading going 3-1 up, thanks to goals from Yakou Meite — clocked as the fastest in the club’s history — Michael Olise and Josh Laurent.

Adam Armstrong had made it 1-1 and then got Blackburn back in it in the second half, but Lucas Joao killed the game in the final 10 minutes.

Wycombe picked up their first-ever point in the second tier as they held Watford to a 1-1 draw.

The Chairboys, playing at this level for the first time in their history, had lost their opening seven games but stopped the rot against the Hornets.

Ismaila Sarr put the visitors ahead shortly after half-time at Adams Park but Anthony Stewart levelled for Wycombe and they held out for a memorable result.

Kenny McLean’s late strike kept Norwich’s good run of form going as they drew 1-1 at Brentford and Middlesbrough scored two late goals to beat Coventry 2-0.

Valerien Ismael made the perfect start as Barnsley’s head coach after leading his new side to a 3-0 victory over 10-man QPR at Oakwell.

There was plenty of Irish interest in League One also, with a couple of notable names on the scoresheet.

Ex-Ireland U21 international Callum Reilly got the winner, as AFC Wimbledon beat Blackpool 1-0.

Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness were on target in Portsmouth’s 4-0 win over Northampton, for whom Alan Sheehan — whose signing was announced only today — made his debut.

Fellow Irish players Cian Bolger and Michael Harriman also lined out for Keith Curle’s side.

Additional reporting by AFP and Paul Fennessy

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