Doherty takes centre stage as Parrott plays bit-part role

Doherty takes centre stage as Parrott plays bit part role
Matt Doherty. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

By Damian Dolan

Matt Doherty was on target as Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 to move up to sixth in the Premier League table – just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Doherty fired home from close range in the 27th minute to make it 1-1.

It was Doherty’s eighth Premier League goals for Wolves this season, putting him joint top of the league ‘goal scoring defenders’ alongside Liverpool skipper Virgil Van Dijk.

With Harry Kane and Son Heung-min both still out with injury, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho introduced 18-year-old Republic of Ireland striker Troy Parrott on in added time.

And the Irishman’s arrival earned a cheer from the home fans, but came far too late to make a difference.

Mourinho has previously said Parrott, who had played five Premier League minutes before his late cameo against Wolves, was “not ready”.

Doherty takes centre stage as Parrott plays bit part role
Michael Obafemi. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland U21 striker Michael Obafemi’s third goal of the season was in vein as Southampton lost 3-1 to West Ham at the London Stadium.

Obafemi, making his fifth Premier League start of the season and his classy, produced a classy first-time finish to bring Saints on level terms.

The game also Southampton’s Republic of Ireland U19 midfielder Will Smallbone make his second Premier League start for the Saints this season.

Obafemi’s goal was his second Premier League goal of the 2019/20 campaign, and will be good news for Ireland U21 boss Stephen Kenny ahead of the team’s Euro 2021 qualifying double-header at the end of March.

Obafemi made his Southampton debut in January 2018, aged just 17 years and 199 days.

His Ireland senior debut – off the bench in Nations League against Denmark in November 2018 – before being capped at U21 level.

Kenny brought him into the team for the 0-0 Euro qualifier draw with Italy at Tallaght Stadium in October.

Doherty takes centre stage as Parrott plays bit part role
James McCarthy. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

James McCarthy was substituted at half-time during Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion after “feeling his hamstring”.

Eagles manager Roy Hodgson said: “He was tempted I think to go and give it another five or 10 minutes to see how it goes but the doc, Zaf, Ray [Lewington] and myself made a decision between us that it wasn’t worth taking that chance.”

McCarthy, who joined Palace from Everton last summer, has been touted for an Ireland recall recently.

The last of the midfielder’s 40 Ireland caps came in a World Cup qualifier against Moldova in October 2016.

Doherty takes centre stage as Parrott plays bit part role
Scott Hogan. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Scott Hogan continues to play his way into Mick McCarthy’s plans for the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final with Slovakia.

The Salford-born striker made it six goals in seven games for Birmingham City in a 2-2 draw away to QPR.

Hogan opening the scoring in the 24th minute, then netted his second nine minutes from time to extend Birmingham’s unbeaten Championship run to nine matches (13 in all competitions).

His second saw him head home from close range from Ireland qualified Dan Crowley’s corner.

Hogan might even have won it during eight minutes of injury time, but was denied by a block from QPR’s Ireland U21 defender Conor Masterson.

Capped eight times by Ireland, Hogan has been a regular in Mick McCarthy’s squads.

He joined from Aston Villa in the January transfer window on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Hogan was on loan at Stoke City but fell out of favour following the appointment of Michael O’Neill as Potters’ manager in November.

He has 10 goals from 61 appearances for Villa, and helped Sheffield United clinch promotion at the back end of last season, during another loan spell.

Doherty takes centre stage as Parrott plays bit part role
Jason Knight. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Jason Knight was on target as Derby County beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 to keep alive their hopes of forcing their way into the Championship play-off reckoning.

The Republic of Ireland U21 midfielder drilled the ball in off the post from a tight angle for Derby’s third goal in the 30th minute.

It was Knight’s fourth of the season for Derby in all competitions.

Doherty takes centre stage as Parrott plays bit part role
James Collins. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

James Collins converted a last-minute penalty to salvage a crucial point for Luton Town as they drew 1-1 with Championship relegation rivals Stoke City.

It was his eleventh of the season for the Hatters, who remain bottom of the Championship five points adrift of safety.

The Coventry-born former striker made a goalscoring senior debut for the Republic of Ireland in a 3-1 friendly international win over Bulgaria at the Aviva in September.

Last season, his 25 goals helped Luton win League One and saw him named League One’s Player of the Year.


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