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Monday 30 Aug 2021
NI Player Watch | Lavery nets again for Blackpool

In-form Shayne Lavery scored his fourth goal in seven games as 10-man Blackpool went down 2-1 to Millwall at the New Den over the weekend.

Despite the Tangerines having defender Callum Connolly red-carded inside the first 15 minutes, 22-year-old Lavery gave the visitors the lead early in the second-half. But the south-London side, who had both Daniel Ballard and George Saville in their line-up, clinched all three points with a last-minute winner.

After starting in the Carabao Cup in midweek, Jamal Lewis returned to bench duty as Newcastle United were held to a draw at St James’ Park by Southampton, while Stuart Dallas’ Leeds United also picked up a point following their 1-1 draw at Burnley.

Also in the Premier League Craig Cathcart hobbled off after 51 minutes of Watford’s 1-0 reverse at Spurs.

Northern Ireland skipper Steven Davis was again a hugely influential figure as Rangers came out tops in the first Old Firm contest of the season against Celtic at Ibrox.

In the EFL Championship striker Josh Magennis was absent from the Hull City side that played out a scoreless draw with AFC Bournemouth due to injury.

Also sidelined at the weekend was winger Shane Ferguson whose foot complaint kept him out of Rotherham United’s 2-0 League One victory at home to south-Yorkshire rivals Doncaster Rovers.

Former U21 international Callum Camps found the net for the first time this season in Fleetwood Town’s draw at Plymouth Argyle, while Liam Boyce took his tally for the campaign to seven for Hearts when he scored on the rebound after his first-half penalty had been saved. 

And there were assists for Daniel Ballard (Millwall), Conor Washington (Charlton Athletic) and on-loan Oxford United forward Gavin Whyte.

In the Danske Bank Premiership, Kofi Balmer, who has been called up to the under-21 panel, scored the season’s opening league goal as Larne recorded a 4-2 home win over Coleraine, while another member of John Schofield’s squad, Oisin Smyth, chalked up two assists for Dungannon Swifts who lost 3-2 at home to Glentoran.

Meanwhile, the FA Women’s Championship kicked off yesterday with Sarah McFadden starting Durham’s 2-1 home success over Watford Ladies and Rachel Furness, who after a long lay-off with a broken fibula, returning to action with Liverpool Women in their opening day 1-0 defeat to London City Lionesses. 

“It was not the start we wanted,” Rachel told irishfa.com. “But it’s a long season and the Championship is a very competitive league - we will bounce back and are already focused on next week.

“On a personal note, it was great to be back out there after such a bad injury, but I’m still building up my fitness.”

In the Scottish Lowland League, Ross McCausland fired home a first-half hat-trick and also weighed in with an assist as Rangers B team put nine past Vale of Leithen, while Lewis MacKinnon, who like McCausland was named in Gerard Lyttle’s under-19 squad last week, was also on target with his first of the season.