In-form winger Paul Smyth scored a sublime goal to give League Two leaders Leyton Orient all three points in a narrow 1-0 victory at home to Salford City at the weekend.
It was the former Linfield player’s seventh goal of the campaign, and his third in five games, and it left O’s boss Richie Wellens singing the 25-year-old’s praises.
“We call him little magic man because he’s got magic in his feet,” Wellens told the Newham Recorder. “He’s the best I’ve seen, he’s the best in the world at when he falls over, getting up and still dribbling!
“He’s fantastic, he works hard in training, and does everything we ask of him.”
Striker Dion Charles ended his run of five games without a goal when he latched on to a Conor Bradley pass to hit a consolation for Bolton Wanderers who suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Oxford United in League One.
Among the scorers for Oxford United was defender Ciaron Brown who found the net for the first time this season after brushing off a challenge from his international colleague Conor Bradley to unleash a 20-yard strike into the bottom corner of the net.
“I obviously know him from Northern Ireland,” said the 24-year-old, who has been a regular at left-back for United this season. “I know he’s a good player, but when you’re on the pitch, you have no friends.
“It was always going to be something where I want to get the better of him. I can’t pick and choose when I score but luckily it helped the team and we won.”
Also getting their name on the scoresheet over the weekend were Glentoran’s Conor McMenamin who hit a brace in the 4-0 win over Larne to take his tally for the season to nine and former international Rory McArdle who scored in Harrogate Town’s 3-2 defeat at AFC Wimbledon.
There were no Northern Ireland players on show in the Premier League as Leicester City skipper Jonny Evans was again absent through injury while Jamal Lewis and Kofi Balmer were both left out of their team’s match day squads.
Meanwhile in the Championship, Conor Washington, Corry Evans and Ali McCann were the only players to start for their respective clubs, though Gavin Whyte, Jordan Thompson and Josh Magennis did get some game time after being used from the bench.
In the Women’s Super League, Jackie Burns was in the Reading team that struck twice in injury time to record a 2-1 over Leicester City, team-mate Lauren Wade was an unused substitute though as was the Foxes’ Demi Vance who is still awaiting her first League start of the season.
In the Scottish Premiership, Rangers duo Steven Davis and Charlie McCann were unused substitutes in Rangers 4-1 over Aberdeen while Kilmarnock’s Liam Donnelly, who was playing his first game for the club since August, had a goal ruled out by VAR after coming on as a half-time substitute in the 1-0 reverse at St Johnstone.
Under-21 international midfielder Isaac Price scored his third goal this term and Sean McAllister weighed in with two assists as Everton defeated Manchester City 6-3 in the U21 Premier League on Saturday.
For the second successive week, Reece Evans was on target for Leicester City who suffered a 6-1 defeat at home to Southampton in the U18 Premier League, while Makenzie Kirk, son of former Glentoran and Northern Ireland international Andy, scored for Hearts ‘B’ team who went down 4-2 at home to the University of Stirling in the Scottish Lowland League.
Finally, under-21 goalkeeper Dylan Berry made his debut for National League South outfit St Albans who lost 2-1 at home to Dulwich Hamlet. The 19-year-old joined the club on a two-month loan from Norwich City last week.