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Monday 20 Sep 2021
Liam Boyce takes season's tally to eight

Striker Liam Boyce was on target again at the weekend as he took his goal tally for the season to eight following Hearts' 2-2 draw against former club Ross County in the Scottish Premiership.

The Northern Ireland forward now has an impressive ratio of a goal every two games having found the net 26 times in just 50 appearances for the Edinburgh outfit.

“One in every two games is brilliant – unless you’re Ronaldo, Lewandowski or Messi,” joked Boyce, “But I don’t really think about it, I just think about scoring in the next game.

“I thought some of the football we played was brilliant, but at the end of the day it came down to us not taking our chances at the right times.

“At 2-2 I missed a great chance myself when I tried to head it across and just missed at the near post,” he added.  “It was good that we played the way we did and created chances and obviously we are disappointed not to have won.”

After the game Hearts boss Robbie Neilson gave an update on Michael Smith who missed the game at Dingwall through injury. 

“Michael played against Hibs when he was 70 per cent fit and we need him 100 per cent fit,” Neilson told the club website. “We thought if we take him out of the County game then he will be back 100 per cent for this week.”

In the Premier League Stuart Dallas and Craig Cathcart both started for their respective clubs, though Jamal Lewis was an unused substitute for Newcastle United while Jonny Evans was absent from Leicester City’s defeat at Brighton with a recurring foot injury.

Back on the goalscoring front George Saville’s first half equaliser rescued a point for Millwall against Coventry City, while Ali McCann again impressed for Preston North End after coming off the substitutes bench for the final quarter of Preston North End’s home draw with West Brom.  

“You could see that he is a good player, no question about it,” said Preston boss Frankie McAvoy. “He is one I think the club need to be given huge plaudits for.

“For the price we paid for him, he has got a big future. I knew that anyway and he will get his chance – I’m excited about him.

“I think you could see his energy, enthusiasm and everything about him. I thought he was excellent.”

In League One Fleetwood Town had three current Northern Ireland U21 internationals on their bench: Barry Baggley, Chris Conn-Clarke and Paddy Lane, with the latter playing the final 20 minutes and providing an assist for the home side's second equalising goal in the 2-2 draw with Sunderland.

And in the NIFL Premiership U21s striker Ryan Waide netted a late leveller for Ballymena United at home to Glenavon. 

Meanwhile, teenager Charlie Allen scored his first goal of the season for Leeds United’s youth team who defeated Spurs 3-1 in the opening round of matches of the U18 Premier League Cup.

Missing from Liverpool U23s' 4-0 defeat to Leeds United on Sunday was 18-year-old Conor Bradley who is expected to be included in Jurgen Klopp’s squad for the EFL Cup tie at Norwich City tomorrow night.

Finally youth international defender Euan Deveney made his debut for Scottish League One outfit Clyde in their 2-2 draw at home to Queen’s Park at the weekend.

The 18-year-old left-back joined the club on loan from Tommy Wright’s Kilmarnock and is to remain at the Broadwood Stadium until January.

“Euan will bring competition to that area of the pitch,” said Clyde manager Danny Lennon. “He’s a good athlete with good pace and good pedigree.”