Striker Liam Boyce scored twice to record his first league goals of the season as Burton Albion cruised to a 3-0 victory at MK Dons in League One at the weekend.
Boyce, who is in Michael O’Neill’s squad for the upcoming games with the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, has now scored six goals for the Brewers’ this term and manager Nigel Clough was delighted to see the former Cliftonville man finally get off the mark in the league.
“It’s lovely that Liam Boyce has got his first league goals of the season today,” declared Clough, “that will do him the world of good.
“Even when you are playing well you still want the goals and now he is off the mark in the league he will go into the international break full of confidence.”
Meanwhile in the Premier League, it was a mixed afternoon for 35-year-old goalkeeper Michael McGovern who was making his first Norwich City start in the top-flight as the Canaries’ hosted Aston Villa on Saturday.
However, Daniel Farke’s injury-hit squad went down 5-1 to the Midlands outfit, though McGovern did produce a number of top-class saves including a 38th minute penalty stop from Villa striker Wesley.
A big plus for Michael O’Neill though was to see left-back Jamal Lewis play the full ninety minutes after an elbow injury the previous week had threaten to rule him out of Thursday’s important EURO 2020 qualifier with the Netherlands in Rotterdam.
Back on the goalscoring front, winger Matthew Kennedy celebrated his first call up to the Northern Ireland squad with a goal in St Johnstone’s 2-2 draw at Ross County, his fifth of the season.
In the Championship, former under-21 international Cameron McGeehan hit a consolation for Barnsley who lost 5-1 at Preston North End while former Burnley trainee Shay McCartan scored his first of the campaign as Bradford City defeated Swindon Town 2-1 in League Two.
Elsewhere striker Kyle Lafferty got another 75 minutes of first-team football under his belt as Sarpsborg 08 registered a 2-0 victory at Ranheim on Sunday with the former Rangers’ man assisting the opening goal for the visitors.
Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis weighed in with his third assist of the season as Rangers went top of the Scottish Premiership following an impressive 5-0 rout of Hamilton Academicals.
There were also assists at the weekend for Aberdeen’s Niall McGinn, Shane Ferguson of Millwall and Forest Green Rovers’ Carl Winchester.