Northern Ireland winger Gavin Whyte was on the scoresheet for the first time this season after his stunning first-half strike helped Oxford United to an emphatic 4-1 home win over Burton Albion at the weekend.
The 26-year-old, who also chalked up his 11th assist of the season as United moved into fourth spot in League One, admitted he was relieved to finally get off the mark.
“I knew it would come sooner rather than later and I’m buzzing I got the goal,” said the former Crusaders star, who is currently on loan at the Kassam Stadium from Cardiff City.
“It was a good strike, it bounced up nicely for me and I caught it clean. It was definitely worth waiting for.”
👏 An absolute 🚀 from @gavinwhyte8 #GAWA pic.twitter.com/7HSqBdAQM9— Northern Ireland (@NorthernIreland) March 6, 2022
In the Championship Paddy McNair converted from the penalty spot for his fifth goal of the season as Middlesbrough made it nine consecutive league wins at the Riverside following their 2-1 success over Luton Town.
“I was happy to put the penalty kick away,” the former Manchester United defender told the club website. “But the most important thing was to get three points.”
McNair revealed the team had to dig deep on Saturday after Boro’s extra-time FA Cup victory over Spurs last Tuesday night.
“We kept going to the end as after playing 120 minutes on Tuesday it was not ideal, so credit to the team for grinding it out as it was important to get the three points.”
🔥 @LiamBoyce14 🔥 #GAWA pic.twitter.com/Fm5uTVpwGv— Northern Ireland (@NorthernIreland) March 6, 2022
Meanwhile, Liam Boyce took just under a minute to score his 15th goal of the campaign as Hearts drew 2-2 away at Dundee United to remain in third position in the Scottish Premiership, thirteen points ahead of Edinburgh rivals Hibernian.
In Finland, former Stoke City and Northern Ireland under-21 international midfielder Jake Dunwoody scored his first goal for his new club SJK who narrowly defeated HIFK 1-0 in the Finnish League Cup.
In the Premier League, Stuart Dallas was in the Leeds United eleven whose new manager Jesse Marsch suffered defeat in his first match in charge after going down 1-0 at Leicester City.
Defender Craig Cathcart also played in Watford’s narrow 3-2 home defeat to Arsenal to stay in the bottom three with just eleven top flight games remaining.
Elsewhere, Millwall loanee Daniel Ballard made his first start for the London outfit in over three months as they made it five wins on the bounce after a single goal victory at Reading.
Speaking to the club website Ballard said: “It has been a long three months and I have put a lot of hard work in and to get back out there today with the travelling fans was amazing.”
In the SWPL in Scotland, Kerry Beattie was in the Glasgow City side which maintained their one-point lead at the top of the table after a comprehensive 6-0 home win over Motherwell.
Second-placed Rangers were equally impressive after coming from a goal down to put six past Partick Thistle. Demi Vance provided an assist for the Gers' third goal while substitute Megan Bell was unlucky not to get her name on the scoresheet after hitting the crossbar twice in the final quarter of the match.
Finally, Callum Marshall was among the scorers in West Ham United U18’s 6-0 victory at Reading to make it six goals in seven games since arriving from Linfield, while defender Matty Carson registered his first of the season as Southampton U18’s defeated their Newcastle United counterparts 5-0.