Sign up to the Irish FA Newsletter today

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news from the Irish FA including ticket updates, match information, competitions, articles and much more.
Thank you

Thursday 23 Aug 2018
BATW| Billy Kee and Gavin Whyte continue goal scoring form

Wigan Athletic striker Will Grigg celebrated his return to the Northern Ireland squad with a brace in the Latics emphatic 3-0 victory at Stoke City last night.

The 27-year-old, who is in Michael O’Neill’s panel for the first time since November 2016, put the visitors in front just shortly before the half-hour mark and sealed the victory from the penalty spot to take make it three goals in his last two outings. 

Also in the Championship, Bolton Wanderers defeated struggling Birmingham City 1-0 through a goal initially credited to Will Buckley, though in his after match interview the manager Phil Parkinson gave the goal to Josh Magennis!

“I’ve seen it and Josh Magennis got the last touch,” confirmed Parkinson. “I’m pleased for Josh because I thought he was immense tonight.”

On Tuesday evening former Crusaders winger Gavin Whyte scored his second goal of the season for Oxford United, however it all proved to be in vain as two goals from Billy Kee gave Accrington Stanley a 3-2 win and consigned the home side to a third straight league defeat. 

After the game Accrington boss John Coleman was full of praise for the prolific Kee who scored 25 goals for the club last term.

“Billy was back to his best, in the last half an hour he was unplayable,” said Coleman. “He won every challenge he went for, was bringing people into play left right and centre and got his two goals.

“I must say he was wearing my boots so I think some of my old magic must have rubbed off on him!

“Monday morning he was a doubt, the bottom of his foot was inflamed and he could hardly walk.

“I convinced him to try my boots to see if it would alleviate the pain because they are old fashioned ones and are quite comfortable and he tried them on yesterday and decided to give it a go and he has got out of jail.”

Meanwhile, midfielder George Saville was replaced by fellow Northern Ireland international Conor McLaughlin as Millwall slumped to a 2-0 reverse at Sheffield Wednesday 

Lions’ manager Neil Harris admitted replacing Saville at the break was a precautionary measure. 

“Sav has come in with what we think is concussion,” explained Harris. “His vision was a bit blurred and his mind wasn’t quite right at half-time, he took a hefty whack. 

“We’ll see how he goes over the next few days.”

Finally, in League Two Luke McCullough made his debut for Tranmere Rovers, whom he joined on–loan on Monday, in the scoreless home draw with Mansfield Town.