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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019

James McClean capitalises on comical Ipswich defending, Maguire and co held by O'Neill's Forest

Meanwhile, Irish striker Simon Cox scored a hat-trick in League One today.

A JAMES MCCLEAN goal was not enough, as Stoke were held by bottom-of-the-table Ipswich in the Championship today.

The Derry native scored just before half-time, after defender Jonas Knudsen unwittingly headed the ball past Bartosz Bialkowski, allowing the Irish international to score with an open goal.

Will Keane, who has recently been linked with a switch of international allegiance to Ireland, scored a last-minute equaliser for the struggling club, heading home from Dubliner Alan Judge’s corner.

Elsewhere, Sean Maguire and Alan Browne could not find a way past Martin O’Neill’s Nottingham Forest, as Daryl Murphy lined out for the visitors in a game that finished scoreless.

Enda Stevens, John Egan and Scott Hogan all played, while David McGoldrick was an unused sub, as Sheffield United beat Reading 4-0 to go second in the Championship.

John O’Shea was on the bench for the Royals, who are only above the relegation zone on goal difference.

Elsewhere, Glenn Whelan and Conor Hourihane started as Aston Villa suffered a 2-0 home loss against West Brom. Wes Hoolahan was an unused sub for the Baggies.

Earlier in the day, Richie Towell scored as Rotherham drew 2-2 with Sheffield Wednesday, while Limerick-born winger Anthony Forde also started for the Millers and Ireland international Keiren Westwood was in goal for the Owls.

Finally, in League One, it was a day to remember Irish striker Simon Cox, as a hat-trick helped Southend come from 3-0 down to earn an unlikely draw with Portsmouth.

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Paul Fennessy

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