Northern Ireland midfielder Stuart Dallas made his 250th appearance for Leeds United on Sunday and marked the occasion with a stunning goal as Marcelo Bielsa’s side defeated fellow Premier League strugglers Burnley 3-1 at Elland Road.
The former Crusaders player fired home a delicious left-footed strike in the 77th minute to open his account for the season and send the home side on their way to a first league success since the 30 November.
“It’s been too long coming this season. I haven’t scored as many as I would have liked and I am delighted with it, and in front of my family as well who were sitting in there somewhere, my kids will be buzzing with that," Dallas told the club’s website.
“We knew how big today was, it’s only three points but it stretches us away from the bottom three, “ he added. “We can’t rest on that, at this club we can’t settle for scraping above that, we have to aim for higher. Fingers crossed it is something to build on.”
🤩 @dallas_stuart 🤩 pic.twitter.com/zR0NdvWeXY— Northern Ireland (@NorthernIreland) January 3, 2022
Meanwhile, defender Craig Cathcart played the full 90 minutes of Watford’s 1-0 Premier League defeat at home to Spurs as fixtures throughout England and Scotland were again disrupted due to Covid-19.
In the Championship Shayne Lavery, Josh Magennis and George Saville all started for their respective clubs although Ciaron Brown was an unused substitute as Cardiff City drew 1-1 at promotion hopefuls West Brom.
Shane Ferguson provided an assist for Rotherham’s opening goal in their 2-1 home success over Bolton Wanderers to maintain top spot in League One.
Wanderers’ latest acquisition, Dion Charles, who put pen-to-paper on a three-and-a-half-year deal on New Year’s Day, was signed too late from Accrington Stanley to make his debut for the Trotters.
Elsewhere in League One loanee Gavin Whyte came off the bench to set up Oxford United’s equalising goal for former Glenavon midfielder Mark Sykes in the 1-1 draw at home to Cheltenham Town. It was Whyte’s third assist for the club over the holiday period.
Finally, Morecambe, managed by former Northern Ireland assistant manager Stephen Robinson, had Ryan McLaughlin and Alfie McCalmont in their starting XI as they came back from 3-0 down at half-time to defeat Ethan Galbraith’s Doncaster Rovers 4-3 in a thrilling encounter at the Mazuma Stadium.